Rihanna was Awarded with the 2017 Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award

On February 28, Rihanna was on Harvard campus accepting the Peter J. Games Humanitarian award. She’s receiving this award for donating and building a state-of- the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados.

In 2012, she founded the nonprofit the Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program [named for her grandparents] for students attending college in the U.S. from Caribbean countries, and supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, which provides children with access to education in over 60 developing countries, giving priority to girls, and those affected by lack of access to education in the world today.

Long story short Rihanna is awesome and this international musical phenomenon, is a Barbados-born singer, actress, and songwriter. Her full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty — she has sold more than 200 million records. Using her success for good Rihanna is changing the lives of those in need.

The Harvard Foundation recognizes prominent public-spirited leaders each year in honor of the late Rev. Professor Peter J. Gomes. “Rihanna has charitably built a state-of- the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados,” said the Harvard Foundation’s director S. Allen Counter.

She’s also helped many other kids receive educations as an ambassador for the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project. She was in Malawi last week for the campaign, People reports, and performed at last year’s Global Citizen Festival, which helps end poverty.

While promoting education, she says “Higher education will help provide perspective, opportunities, and learning to a group of kids who really deserve it. I am thrilled to be able to do this,” she told USA Today when she started the scholarship.

As well as promoting education she promotes healthcare. Rihanna built a center dedicated to breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, where she grew up. She also appeared in a World AIDS Day PSA with Prince William, where they pricked their fingers to demonstrate how simple getting an HIV test is.

She joins an eclectic group of honorees. Past recipients include girls’ education advocate Malala Yousafzai, Star Wars and The Lion King voice actor James Earl Jones, and four recent U.N. Secretaries General.

Rihanna is doing great things and making all of us proud! By using her fortune for good she is making a change. Not only is she helping those that really need it and are appreciating it, she is being recognized for it nationally. Who knew she was doing all of this?! I sure didn’t, she kept it all very lowkey.

She is broadening her spectrum of talents beyond the singer song writer talents and being recognized for doing good charitable work in the world.

You go RiRi!!

For more info and quotes: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/02/rihanna-named-humanitarian-of-year/



First Wheelchair Model to Hit the Ukrainian Runway

Alexandra Kutas is paralyzed from the waist down and lives her life in a wheelchair but insists her disability won’t deter her dreams of becoming a model. She made her first modeling debut at Ukraine Fashion Week. She says she wants ALL designer shows to include wheelchair-bound models.

This young model is making her debut at Ukraine Fashion Week despite never being able to walk.

She’s from Kiev, Ukraine, has been featured in several exhibitions and been invited to work as a hostess at Ukraine Fashion Week later this year.

She’s determined and hopes that by working the exclusive event it will open doors for a career in high-end fashion. As well as balancing her modelling career with her day job as a physiologist, she is also fighting for better facilities for wheelchair users.

Alexandra, who suffered a spinal cord injury during birth, said: ‘I was first interested in the idea of becoming a model when I was 16.

‘I was spotted by a photographer when I was in a cafe one day and she invited me to do a shoot – I was so inspired and realized that modelling was what I wanted to do.’

Alexandra adds that she hopes to use her position to change the landscape of the modelling industry for wheelchair users.

‘Because of a birth injury I could never walk and have always been in wheelchair.

‘But I’m hoping that Ukraine Fashion Week will be a chance to meet designers and voice my own concepts.

‘I have so many ideas about using model with disabilities and I have an idea of how it should look.’

Normally I write about Hispanic women and their empowering moves, but this can’t be ignored. Alexandra is making history and making it so people in wheelchairs can feel beautiful too.

This is starting with her empowering women, but this will eventually move to men being a part of this movement as well. She is inspiring others and is the pioneer in this movement.

Her hard work and determination is just the beginning and the results that can come from this. You go girl!

All quotes received from; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3218076/Disabled-woman-make-modelling-debut-Ukraine-Fashion-Week.html#ixzz4aIudSWS5


First Hispanic Women to go to Space is Being Inducted into the Hall of Fame

Her name is Ellen Ochoa, and she was the first Latina women who made it to space. It was announced that on May 19th she will be inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame for her success.

A quote from Ms. Ochoa about the news; “I’m honored to be recognized among generations of astronauts who were at the forefront of exploring our universe for the benefit of humankind, I hope to continue to inspire our nation’s youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, so they, too, may reach for the stars.”

Ochoa is from Mexico and she joined NASA as a research engineer at Ames Research Center in 1988. By 1990, she moved onto the Johnson Space Center, where she was selected as an astronaut and made her historic trip to space in 1993.

Her success doesn’t stop there. Ochoa is currently the director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, the second woman and first Latina to lead its 13,000 employees.

“Being an astronaut, and part of a team, is really rewarding, and now I have a different perspective,” she said when she first got the position four years ago, “the end goal is still the same – carrying out exciting and challenging mission in space.”

Hearing about successful Latinas as models or actors is something you would almost expect, but as an astronaut?!

Hearing about this story I knew I had to write about it, I know nothing about space and astronauts but when a Latina is being inducted into the hall of fame for it I’ll read into it.

This success for not only a woman but a Hispanic woman is monumental for the Hispanic community. Definitely something to be proud of!

All quotes and statistics are from;




A Day in the Life of a Partner at Hall and Partners

Introducing, Susan Hoxie also known as a Partner at Hall & Partners. Hall & Partners is a global brand consulting agency specializing in brand engagement and communications research. By using a combination of quantitative and qualitative measures.

As someone like myself pursuing in the public relations job field, Hall and Partners is a Public Relations firm found and known worldwide. Having the opportunity to interview someone as successful as Susan Hoxie was fun and eye opening.

In the questions, I touched on; how she got to where she is today, a day in the life of a partner at hall and partners and interesting work her firm is currently working on. Along with those I asked her for any advice for someone new to the job field, and what a successful firm such as that one looks for in new-hires. I contacted her through e-mail and the responses below are her exact words.

Q: Where did you graduate from and what was your degree?

University of Puget Sound, Bachelor of Arts, majored in political science and economics

University of Washington, Masters Information Systems

Q: How did you get to the job you currently work at? / climb the corporate ladder

I had been working at Microsoft for 13 years and was considering my next move.  Another sr. director I respected left Microsoft and went to work for what is now my current employer, a market research agency which services Microsoft called Hall & Partners.  I had great respect for this director and when she recruited me I was excited to work under her leadership at Hall & Partners.  Most people in the market research industry have experience on the client side (working for companies that use the research to make decisions) and experience on the agency side (working for companies that conduct and analyze the data and deliver to the clients.)  I had never worked on the agency side and felt this would round out my career.

Q: Did you know you wanted to work in a Market Research agency?

I originally thought I would go into academia and pursue my PhD.  Then I went to work for a software company as a paid intern while pursuing my Masters.  I intended to work in their MIS department designing/maintaining databases and working on their first intranet. However, as a small company, they also had a need for someone to do analyst relations, competitive intelligence and market research.  I found that I loved it since I was interested in understanding what motivates customers and how they make decisions, as well as competitive strategy. The company offered me a full-time position when I graduated.

Q: What’s a day in the life of a Market Research professional?

  • I manage a team of 20 market research professionals at Hall & Partners in Seattle so my days involve reviewing the work of my team (their market research reports, study designs, analyses.) This team review, as well as people management takes around 40% of my time.
  • About 30% of my time is spent on account management – meeting with our current clients and discussing their business issues and sharing insights from our research to help them solve their business problems. We spend a lot of time on storytelling to help our clients understand their customers and their competitors.
  • The remaining 30% of my time is on new business development – discussing issues with clients and developing proposals for research to address their business challenges. The majority of my business development work is with clients we already have and want to grow, but I spend time trying to win business with new clients as well.  No two days are the same however.

For example, today I’m in the airport in Boston.  I spent the first half of the day in leadership training taught by Harvard Business School professors.  I’m spending the time waiting for my flight responding to emails, and reviewing and managing my calendar.  On the flight, I’ll take a break and listen to an Audible book on my phone.

It’s important to step away from the work and focus on things outside the business.

Q: What’s something your organizations been doing that you find interesting?

One really interesting project we are working on now is helping technology companies better understand how to recruit and retain a diverse workforce.  We have conducted 40 focus groups around the US with Millennials, women, African Americans and Hispanics to understand their needs and wants in the workplace.  We are currently scoping a second phase of this research where we will conduct similar research internationally (in places like the UK, Germany, India, etc.)  This is what we call a qualitative project.  But we also are doing lots of interesting quantitative projects.  For example, we’re working with large airline clients on how consumer view their brand and how that is changing over time.

Q: As someone who wants to follow in your footsteps, what is a skill should I hone in on and perfect? / any advice for someone fresh out of college looking to be successful?

In terms of skill set, the industry is changing very fast.  Having a curious mind is probably the most important thing in our profession

  • being the type of person who wonders why people act the way they do and what’s driving them
  • being the kind of person who likes to learn new things and isn’t afraid to just jump in and learn
  • being the kind of person who uses all the resources at their disposal to educate themselves every day (reading, talking to people, even just doing a search on Google for anything you come across during the day that you don’t know.)

That said, the most important skill is being able to analyze information – whether that’s data or text – and being able to connect the dots.  Being able to analyze lots of different points and integrate the story to provide insights is what we do every day.

When we hire someone for our entry level positions we are looking for:

  • attention to detail
  • great writing skills
  • someone who asks questions
  • people with positive energy and a can do attitude.

We expect our new hires to dig in on every aspect of the business.  We are also looking for candidates who have taken market research courses in school and have a passion for marketing and communications.

Thank you Susan Hoxie for your insight and in depth answers that will be helpful to the readers that want to pursue a job at a successful firm such as Hall and Partners.

Success as a new PR pro with these 7 Barcelona 2.0 updated principles

Barcelona’s Principles 2.0 outline are 7 core principles were created by 140 PR practitioners in 2010 including people from the following companies; Edelman, FleishmanHillard, Ketchum and StrategyOne. With these revisions we can change PR’s past mistakes:

  1. Goal setting and measurements are fundamental
  2. Measure communication outcomes rather than only measuring outputs
  3. Measure the effect on organizational performance
  4. Measurement and evaluation require both qualitative and quantitative methods
  5. AVEs do not show the worth of communications
  6. Social media can (and should) be measured with other channels
  7. Measurement and evaluation should be transparent consistent and valid

These guidelines are specific enough to measure performance and give a reliable outcome. They measure and evaluate communications and PR campaigns and fix prior mistakes.

Goal setting is meant to give you the motivation you need to succeed and measuring communication

outcomes are so that you can learn from your mistakes and measure the people you connected with. Both very important aspects that are just the beginning of a PR professionals job.

Next they focus on measuring the organizations performance and the ‘big picture’ behind it all and how PR can affect the organizations overall performance. Very important when working with a large company with many outlets.

Also when dealing with a company with many outlets measuring the qualitative and quantitative data can be a big aspect of a company’s success. This is personally the one I find most important because you need to be aware of the people your connecting with on the internet, and the people your reaching out to through websites.

The next guideline is Advertising Value Equivalent don’t show the worth of communications, and this one I am very unfamiliar with. According to the guideline definition it means that PR practitioners should just get rid of them it’s the old school way of showing progress and apparently isn’t as necessary in today’s modern PR world.

Social media is a very important PR aspect especially for my internet savvy generation. According to the guidelines this free-paid tool should be used but also measured, which I completely agree with. Connecting with people through social media is a first impression they may get. But also measuring your connections and seeing who your reaching when is important to be able to utilize social media to its fullest.

Measuring performance is key, but according to these guidelines it’s important to compare it with like, and act with integrity, honesty and openness. When working in the PR world you want to make sure you are doing your job to the best of your abilities and to demonstrate the value of your client effectively measuring the success of a job is crucial no matter the complexity.

As someone who is new to the PR industry, and coming in with the hope to succeed I could definitely see these guidelines as useful and trustworthy. I definitely think these updated principles define the PR industry and professionals charge.





Just a Hispanic Female Trying to Make it in the PR world

A statistic PRSA had on one of their blog posts was “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2020, 36.5 percent of the U.S. population will be comprised of Blacks, Asians/Pacific Islanders, Hispanics/Latinos and Native Americans. Just as the industry must adapt to changing technologies, it must also respond to changes in its audience and talent pool.”

I found this blog on the PRSA website called Lack of #PR Diversity makes Diversity Month ever more relevant, and it really hit home for me.

The practice of PR is one that is constantly changing not only in the way business is done and communicated but the people and the demographics that are involved. This is a personal topic for me since I am both a Puerto Rican and Costa Rican female trying to succeed in the PR world.

I am not saying that the PR world has no diversity, it’s actually quite diverse when it comes to the skill sets needed, mindsets of the workers, and the cultures all of the organizations deal with. But the ethnic diversity is one that is lacking and needs growth in their field since it is constantly growing around us.

I say this because I’m not only a female trying to make it in the PR world but an ethnic female trying to make it. As I job search and connect with PR professionals on LinkedIn I am seeing the diversity first hand. It’s a bit lacking, but then I see the job opportunities they have around the world in places such as Spain, Switzerland, and China. That’s when I realized that they have no choice but to be diverse in picking possible future candidates for their jobs, especially if you are bilingual.

Since I am from Puerto Rico and Costa Rican I speak Spanish as my first language, and there are a few jobs I’ve found that have speaking Spanish as a requirement. This gives me hope. Yes, the job is in a Spanish speaking place, but they need someone on both ends that can speak the language.

I’m hoping that my skill sets can possibly give me leverage in the job field since they are searching to make their work places more diverse.



PR in My Words

As a public relations major looking for jobs in the field, knowing the definition of public relations would be a good place to start.

The definition in 1982 the PRSA National Assembly adopted the following definition:

“Public relations helps an organization and its public’s adapt mutually to each other.”

Throughout the times it’s been around the definition of public relations is one that has been constantly changing, kind of like the words themselves.

So an updated definition was made by PRSA in 2011‒12, and their goal was to lead an international effort to modernize the definition of public relations, they came up with this definition:

“Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their public’s.”

This definition is one that I personally agree with since it covers all the bases of what a PR professional does. Not only is it simple but it emphasis the mutually beneficial relationships and that’s a huge part of this job. The relationships it refers to is how PR professionals bring together organizations with their stake holders which is what the public’s is referring to.

That’s the definition made by the Public Relations Society of America, but in my own words Public relations is a job that brings people together with other companies, stakeholders, and the public. The job of a PR professional in my opinion is one that connects people.

Through social media outlets, press releases, or skills in website building we educate our public about what the company we work for is and what they do. Yes, the relationship can be mutually beneficial like PRSA said, but in the end I think the main focus is the company and what the public thinks of it.

The company you work for can be a candidate, a corporation, or even a person, the list is really endless. Either way encouraging positive social responsibilities such as community outreach and creating or remaining a positive brand name is what a PR pro does for their client.

Personally I hope to work in house with a large brand name such as Amazon or Nike in their PR department. Working in house with a company will mean writing press releases and helping run their social media and helping the company reach out to their public as positively as possible.

*All quotes and statistics are from Public Relations Society of America official website*

Be Diverse in What You Have Done and Have Pride in What You 

The importance of diversity and pride in what you do is something Barb Arnott emphasized in her talk while discussing her past experiences and current job position. She also explained that it is important for us as students to seek out new experiences.

“You have to be able to do a little bit of everything, it’s not just a one shot thing.”

Barb Arnott has a diverse work background and considers herself an AP and news nerd. She graduated from Central Washington in ’09 with her BA in journalism.

She started as a movie review writer in high school and went on to become part of the Observer here at Central. Then after she graduated she was an intern at the Daily Record and currently works in the Public Affairs office as the Public Affairs coordinator.

As a student she said she wishes that she took more of an advantage of what the school had to offer and encourages students to do so. It gives students new learning experiences and can help them build their personal portfolio. These new experiences can give you more confidence when you graduate when entering the work force.

She has learned a lot with all her past experiences as a student and now as a professional. She has learned multiple styles of writing, how to put herself out there and the correct way to respond to crisis communication. Her diverse background gives her confidence in her future endeavors.

“I feel I can go in any direction with my strengths and past experiences”

In her current job position she is helping build the CWU brand. Her goal is to make sure people see Central as a positive organization.
“You want people to get a warm fuzzy when they think about Central.”

Along with a positive name brand it seems that public affairs also has these three goals: recruitment, retention & donation. Is what is said going to make people want to come to Central? When they come will they want to stay? Happy students and faculty will make for more future investments.

She also said that the people of Central Washington University need to be enjoying their experience in hope that it will make them want to spread the word about it. Barb Arnott emphasized that she feels that; “When you’re excited about something it makes it easier to share your excitement.”

Being diverse in what you have done and having pride in what you do is what I personally took from Arnotts talk today. I plan on applying that in my personal and professional life from here on out.

How to be an MVP by Fred Kohout

Friday morning at Central Washington University I learned how to be the most valuable person in the PR field.

“Make yourself valuable” is advice that Fred Kohout, CMO at Cray Inc., offered as a path to success, and he explained how to do it with these four main points:

  1. Be open to taking risks
  2. Be willing to change and adapt
  3. Be a student for life
  4. Be authentic

To make yourself valuable you have to be open to taking risks. Taking risks is easier said than done, and when you’re in the moment saying yes may not always seem like the right answer (we’ve all been there). But Fred said that in any situation, “the downside is not that bad but the upside will be worth it.”

To be an MVP Fred also said, “If you are unable to change or are unwilling to adapt you won’t make it.” This spoke levels because the industry is constantly changing, and you have to be willing to change and adapt to it. If you try and stick to old ways or habits and not learn new materials, you simply won’t be able to keep up.

Another way to make yourself valuable is to be a student for life. You don’t want to think of your job as a punishment versus a reward type of environment, you want to see it as a learning environment. Learning and adapting to new things is how to thrive in this industry. Fred directly said that leaving work you should be able to ask yourself “what did I learn and what can I do next.”

The final way to be an MVP is to be authentic. Don’t be familiar, be earnest, be friendly and be ambitious. Go after what you want with the right mentality and go after what you want with no fear of failing, as Fred says, “You don’t always have to be right, see failures as the next opportunity.”

Hearing Fred talk definitely gave me an insight into what the future holds for my desired job industry and how to thrive in it. Becoming an MVP with these four easy steps is easier said than done, but with Fred’s wise words success can be in my near future.


Why PR is my ‘perfect fit’

Growing up I was always getting in trouble in class for talking too much. My report cards would be sent home with notes from my teachers about how I was too talkative or disruptive in class.

I was also horrible at math. My whole life I’ve struggled to pass math classes, and I even had a tutor for most of my high school career.

My dad’s reaction? “Just make sure that when you grow up you get paid to talk and have a job that has nothing to do with math.” From that day forward I applied that quote to my everyday life.

Not only did I come to Central Washington University with my dad’s words of wisdom being replayed in my head, I also took my first communication class. I was always a good student that went to class, but I have never looked forward to a class the way I did with my first communication class.

From that day forward I knew I needed to be in the PR program because it capitalized on all of my strengths, and I was successful in that class. Being successful in class is important to me but I was laso relating and getting along really well with the people in my class so I was enjoying the class and that’s important to me.

I had found where I was meant to be and I couldn’t be more excited. When I went home and told my parents of my success in class and my excitement about finding the major I wanted to do they were incredibly supportive

My dad again had a perfect reaction for me; “that is the perfect fit for you”.

As I became a student in the major I did some research and on the business professionals in the field and the requirements to get a job. I created a LinkedIn profile (since a social media presence is important) and connected with the PR businesses to keep up on their news. I also connected with the professionals that were in the field of work I wanted to pursue and that worked for those firms.

I met with 3 different PR professionals, one worked for Amazon as a representative, the other for Webber Shandwick for crisis communication and the last one for Edelman as a technology PR representative. Three very different types of people with all kinds of different tips to get into the field of work and finding my ‘perfect fit’.

These meetings were not only eye opening but they were also an opportunity for me to really narrow down the type of PR I want to do and what kind of firm I want to work for.  I look forward to using my knowledge to overcome the challenges I will be faced with and the success I will be rewarded with.