pr writing

Third Annual Mayor’s International Futsal Cup to take place at Indiana Statehouse

INDIANAPOLIS, AUG. 9, 2017 — The third annual occurrence of the Mayor’s International Futsal Cup, hosted by Indiana Futsal, will take place Saturday, Sept. 2 to Monday, Sept. 4 at the state capitol building’s parking lot, located downtown at 201 N. Capitol St.

This adult futsal tournament features over 40 teams representing 32 different countries and is one of the largest futsal tournaments in the United States. Teams play three games in a round-robin format. The top two teams from each group will move on to a single-elimination tournament.

“Seeing members of the Indianapolis community from thirty-two countries compete together is incredible. Our staff, as well as our partners and sponsors, come together each year to make this event as fun and inclusive as possible. We’re very proud of how it’s grown,” says Justin Becht, director of Indiana Futsal.

The tournament will have locally-owned food trucks with flavors representative of some of the teams’ countries. New to this year’s event will be the Sun King Lounge where attendees can enjoy a locally-crafted micro-brew while watching the action.

This event is free and open to the public. The Mayor’s International Futsal Cup is made possible in part by partnerships with Indy Eleven, Downtown Indy and the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office.

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Futsal is a version of soccer played on a hard surface with a smaller, heavier ball and teams of five-a-side. This format of play emphasizes ball control and skillful technique as players have a smaller space to utilize.

About Indiana Futsal: Indiana Futsal is organized to provide nonprofit, public, educational futsal development and competition. Through tournaments, leagues, camps, free play, and other futsal events, Indiana Futsal will grow its membership across both youth and adult age groups.

 

Press release originally written by Marissa Smith for Indiana Futsal.

 

pr writing

Indiana Futsal unveils ‘Goals for Indy’ program

Indiana Futsal is pleased to announce the new Goals for Indy program, which creates steel futsal goals for public courts in Central Indiana and is a partnership among several Indianapolis businesses. The goals are sourced, constructed, and finished here locally in Indianapolis.

“Part of our mission is to provide access to the game in underserved communities,” explains Indiana Futsal Director Justin Becht, “This program allows us to secure partnerships with local, family-owned organizations and nonprofits to help lower those costs and provide safe equipment.”

The raw materials are purchased from Warner Steel, a local and family owned metal supplier, by Indiana Futsal and put together by a welding cohort within RUCKUS.

RUCKUS Makerspace and Recycle Force, both CCIC tenants, have partnered up to create a hands on 10 week 40 hr Intro to welding program. A Certified Welding Inspector works closely with students to help support, educate and empower Recycle Force participants. The cohort focuses on elements of fabrication, team building, preparing for potential jobs and set personal goals.

Upon completion of the goals, they will be taken to Cunningham Quality Painting, a local and family owned powder coating facility, to be finished with a durable UV protected powder coat. They will be stored while a site for a new public court is chosen and then installed.

The first goals to be put together were on display inside RUCKUS Makerspace on Aug. 4, where the staff spent the evening having fun and sharing the sport of futsal with First Friday attendees.

Interested in bringing futsal to your community or sponsoring the Goals for Indy program? Contact Justin Becht at justin@indianafutsal.org or 317.975.2012.

 

Article originally written and published for Indiana Futsal.

blog, pr writing

Support systems which uphold young professionals are invaluable

A reflection on the impact of university programming and on-campus families.

I recently have had the opportunity to begin work as a writer, edit, and content strategist at my university, a position which has already helped me grow immensely in the brief months I have held it. My first task within this role was to write Student Success Stories for IUPUI’s Diversity Enrichment and Achievement Program, known around campus as DEAP.

It took a few weeks to get into contact and interview four different, busy students around campus, but in the end I had a great time combining their words and my writing skillset to share their stories. I was tasked with drafting pieces that would demonstrate the positives of being a member of DEAP, and the depth of the results (pun possibly intended) surprised me.

I was apprehensive, when beginning this project, as to how much people would be willing to share with a stranger whom they only knew as being a writer for the school. Their eagerness to open up was a pleasant surprise, and as you’ll see if you read their stories, being a part of DEAP impacted them all greatly in different ways. Each of them was able to say that the program’s staff and students had become a secondary family, and I think connection between that type of support and the success of these young people should be recognized. 

College is an enormous alteration from high school on its own, and when you factor in all the other possible changes (“I have to get good grades and work enough to pay the bills?!”) it’s easy to get overwhelmed. I myself spent a lot of time that first semester in a puddle of salty tears.  However, each of the four students I interviewed overcame those and quite a few other odds to become confident leaders in the community, growth which they all attributed to the support system they found in the program. 

Finding something stable and supportive to hold on to in the never-ending whirlwind of life can literally change a person’s life. 

Past Assignments

What Happens to the Umbilical Cord After it’s Cut?

The following text is an example of a backgrounder I was assigned to write in a Public Relations Writing course. The proposed client was the National Cord Blood Program, and I was tasked with writing the copy for a brochure with a Flesch Readability Level between sixth and seventh grade (the current reading level for the general American public). My source for the copy was the NCBP website: http://www.nationalcordbloodprogram.org.


The Answer is Up to You!

Congratulations, you’re going to have a baby! Choosing what happens to your umbilical cord is probably not one of the first things that comes to mind when you think about parenthood, but it is an important one. As a mother, you have the option to have the cord disposed of after you have the baby, or to donate it to a cord blood bank such as the National Cord Blood Program.

What is the National Cord Blood Program?

The New York Blood Center started the National Cord Blood Program (NCBP) in 1992 to help people who required a bone marrow transplant for treatment but could not find any matching donors. Today, NCBP has banked the most units of cord blood of any non-profit public bank. The program has collected over 60,000 units of blood and given over 5,300 units to people in need of transplants.

NCBP is set on giving the best possible cord blood to its patients. This mission is supported by NCBP being the first cord blood bank to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The program has staff on-hand at hospitals around the U.S. Once the cord blood is collected, it is frozen and stored until it is needed by a patient. Staff in the lab hand-pick each unit for the person in need and it is shipped to the hospital of the patient seeking a transplant.

Why Cord Blood?

Umbilical cord blood, called cord blood for short, has proven to be a good choice for many medical uses for a few different reasons. First, it is easy to collect and store. After your baby is delivered it no longer needs the cord. In the past, this tissue and blood was thrown away, but we now know it can be stored and used for its stem cells.

Secondly, the stem cells found in cord blood make red and white blood cells the same way that stem cells from bone marrow do. Using these stem cells for transplants is becoming more common. This is really important for patients who suffer from diseases related to their blood, immune system or genetics. Once the cells are given to the patient they will begin replacing the diseased cells and making healthy new blood cells. So far, cord blood has been proven to help fight over 80 different illnesses.

FAQs

Q: Will donating affect me or my baby?

A: No. Cord blood is only collected once the cord is cut and your baby is delivered.

Q: Does it cost any money to donate?

A: No. The National Cord Blood Program is entirely free for the donor.

Q: How do I become a donor?

A: You may plan to have your baby at one of the NCBP hospitals (a list can be found at www.nationalcordbloodprogam.org). If there is not a NCBP site near you, talk to your doctor about giving your cord blood.

Q: What will my cord blood be used for?

A: The blood and stem cells will be stored until NCBP finds a patient that matches with you. That person will be given the blood and stem cells so that their body can start making healthy new blood cells. So far, cord blood has helped people with over 80 different diseases.

Q: What happens to the cord blood if I choose not to donate?

A: Your hospital will dispose of any blood and tissue after the baby is delivered if you choose not to have it donated.

For more information, visit: www.nationalcordbloodprogram.org

blog, Past Assignments, pr writing

Three Things to Understand in Order to Connect with Millennials

Who are millennials, and what makes them different than previous generations?

Since this age group first emerged as consumers, companies began devoting enormous amounts of time and money into the search for definitive answers to those questions. Such an investment is not without its value, a Goldman Sachs infographic supports, as the millennial generation, which consists roughly of people born between 1980 and 2000, is the largest in U.S. history. Though varied, the answers found throughout the course of this research have certainly proven beneficial for advertising purposes, but what do the generalized behaviors of the millennial generation mean to organizations who are not attempting to sell a product, but rather to persuade these young people to feel a certain way? Just as advertising agencies must adjust their strategies in order to better reach this target audience, public relations specialists must also understand the best ways to communicate with millennials.

How They Think:

The first thing to understand about millennials is how they view themselves and the world around them. To view the thoughts, values and beliefs of young people on an individual basis, one would most likely look to social media sites such as Twitter. However, as anyone who has researched a certain demographic has experienced, it becomes much more difficult to pinpoint common values of a group of people on a large scale. When patterns do present themselves, it is very important to recognize them.

A common attitude amongst millennials has proven to be an overall skepticism of the American political, judicial and economical systems. Data gathered by Karen Foster from the Greater Good Science Center at Berkeley University provides a discussion on millennials’ views from such a standpoint.  While voices in the media often depict this generation as apathetic, Foster’s data argues that they are actually just “disenchanted” by the United States systems and policies. They have witnessed, via the tribulation of their parents and grandparents, that throwing yourself into a job doesn’t always mean you can rely on keeping it and that just because you place your vote doesn’t mean the elected official is going to make the changes you desire.

That is not to say millennials do not have beliefs that directly correlate to certain political or social issues, in fact, as we saw with the Bernie Sanders ‘revolution’ this past year, there is a wild desire for change when prompted by the right voice (which somehow ended up being an elderly man from Brooklyn). In comparison to their predecessors, says Foster, millennials “self-identify” as being more tolerant of “different opinions, sexualities, ethnicities and cultures,” a notion that could eventually lead to wave of change amongst the societal norms that have been in place for decades, if millennials so choose to voice these views.

How They Take in Information:

Naturally, if you want to get a message across to any group of people, you’re going to need a basic understanding of how they learn and absorb information. The first step in doing so is choosing the right medium for communication. “Managing for Dummies” author Peter Economy advises that for millennials it is best to address them where they “already spend the most time–on their mobile devices.”

As far as the format and content of your messaging, Economy and Jayson DeMers of Forbes magazine agree that whatever you are trying to convey you should do so quickly. As DeMers writes, millennials are accustomed to having devices with answers to almost any question at their fingertips. As a professor once said to me, “[the millennial generation] has no excuse for not knowing something.”  This means that you must hit them “with fast, thorough information” in order to get their attention, DeMers concludes. The pace of your message isn’t just about the way you present content either – millennials are more likely to use a site or application that loads “quickly and easily” on their devices.

How They Work:

Amongst other unique qualities, millennials have a different approach when it comes to the work force. With the entrance of this generation into all fields, innovation in the way businesses are managed is a must. Dixie Gillaspie, a contributor for Entrepreneur magazine, writes that millennials are responsible for changing the way businesses operate, in part because they value “life over work-life balance.” Millennials tend to be passionate about enriching their lives rather than heightening their position on a corporate ladder.

This dedication to a fulfilled life, writes Dian Schaffhauser for Campus Technology, means that young people have placed a “premium on their time,” and prefer not to hold face-to-face meetings unless they are absolutely necessary. I mean, who doesn’t love the idea of staying at home in your pajamas for work? They like to work in the “most efficient way possible,” rather than committing themselves to sit at a desk for set number of hours each week, a notion that is a step away form Generation X’s stress on the work-life balance and goes so far as to directly oppose the strictly ‘loyal’ work ethic of Baby Boomers. As Gillaspie puts it, it is a generation that “believes in efficiency… for maximum impact.” Forbes magazine’s Kate Taylor cites data in her article “Why Millennials Are Ending The 9 To 5” that says nearly half of young people prefer flexibility at their job over a larger paycheck. Again, they would rather have less time in the office and more time spent experiencing the world outside of it.

Millennials are not afraid to leave a position that does not value such preferences either – the desire for flexibility has lead to an increase in freelancing and self-employment, with “60% of millennials leaving their job in under three years,” in search for opportunities that better suit their needs as employees.

What This Means to the Communications Field:

In summary, millennials:

  • Are skeptical of the United States economic and political systems
  • Identify as tolerant of differing opinions, cultures, ethnicities and sexualities
  • Communicate via mobile devices
  • Favor fast-paced messaging
  • Value a life of experiences over careers

But what do all these things mean to public relations professionals?

Taken together, we can deduce that millennials are selective – their computer-based skills allow them to use the internet as a tool for shopping around. This means if you’re selling a product, it better be the best out there – at least according to reviews written by millennial peers – and the same goes for representing an organization. You better prove that your client is the best at what they do, that they do it with integrity and that they believe in social responsibility.

Additionally, you’ve got a very short amount of time to get that message across. Millennials are -unsurprisingly – busy. With society’s push towards requiring a college education for entry level jobs, they have been tasked with balancing university workloads with paying positions, while also pursuing the type of fulfilled life that they can be proud of. They have also been raised in an era where the incessantly staccato messages of social media and the internet rule, which means they’re accustomed to getting their information quickly.

Designing a communications plan around these stipulations may seem daunting, but once you’re armed with a basic understanding of the way millennials think, learn and work, effective communications strategies are not far behind.

Past Assignments

Dethroning the Welfare Queen

Over the course of the spring semester of 2016, I explored the effect of stigmas and stigma-derived stereotypes on those of low socioeconomic status, as well as what could be done to prevent or reduce said perceptions. This subject matter is something I have grown curious about over the course of the past couple months, as a result of my general interest in the sociological perspective, the community service hours I have done, and my following of the current presidential election. Negative perceptions of welfare recipients date as far back as the creation of the U.S. welfare state itself, and though immense amounts of information about the system have been made accessible via technological advances, many non-recipients remain unaware of the reality of impoverished peoples. This lack of knowledge prompted my  drafting of the attached paper which argues that United States welfare policy and statistical truths should be simplified and explained to the national public in order to begin extinguishing the false ideologies which have engulfed public perception.

Click here to read the full paper

Uncategorized

Unfortunate Relevance in an Effective Work

01/29/2015

Though the duties of a wife have changed in the forty years since “I Want a Wife” was written by Judy Brady, the voice of the essay maintains the same rebellious energy that makes modern day women want to raise a fist to the man or, rather, men. America has come far in those forty years, replacing the idea of a nuclear family and quiet, obedient wife with that of single parent households often comprised of a parent and one or two dependent children. The majority of women seem to have rightfully come to the conclusion that the love of a man does not equate to happiness, and the idea of feminism has become increasingly relevant. That is what makes “I Want a Wife” such an effective work. If one did not give the audience an indication of when the piece was written, it would easily be applicable to today’s feminist movement. Brady ensnares her audience with the use of rhetorical appeals, satirical tone, and parallelism, creating an atmosphere of indignation that beckons both genders to come forward and confess their faults.

The author makes a point of opening by appealing to ethos, establishing herself as a wife and mother, so that fellow women can know she is writing from a perspective of experience and trust her knowledge of the feminine role in the family. The very first statement she makes establishes this respect with the careful diction, “I belong,” and from that moment the idea of a wife includes all women who belong to that “classification” (Brady p. 1). After all, they are not independent women, but rather indentured to their spouse. She makes further appeals, subtly to pathos, and more obviously to logos throughout the piece.

Brady states her case by building a logical though satirical argument, each responsibility that is expected of wives forming another brick to add to the foundation of the dispute over gender roles. Though the essay is only two pages in length, the listing of responsibilities intentionally seems to stretch on forever, the author mentioning extensive duties such as scheduling, cooking, cleaning, and physically caring for every member of the household except herself (Brady p 2-3). The audience is able to follow along with this logical appeal and visualize the absurdity of the duties wives are expected of. Readers of every gender, sexuality, and financial standing recognize that one human being is not capable of performing such tasks on their own and thus the roles that have always applied to females are unrealistic and out of touch.

The third appeal that the author targets is more subtle, but because it is an emotional appeal it is potentially the strongest and most effective. Pathos causes the reader to feel something, and Brady is particularly able to cause such feelings in the women who read this article, whether it be back then in 1971 or present day in 2015. The voice of the essay speaks with increasingly heated language, bringing to mind the volatile tenor of an angry husband standing over his cowering wife rather than the calm, ladylike soprano heard in the introduction. One feels the transition from the feminine “I was ironing one evening” to the masculine speaker begging for peace from all those “rambling complaints” (Brady p. 2, 5). Audience members who are in long term relationships begin to question who the ‘wife’ is in their situation and a fire slowly builds inside them. The essay compels readers to feel rebellious, guilty, or insulted, and it has been invoking these emotions for forty years. These appeals pair nicely with the next effective tactic Judy Brady utilizes – her tone.

The composer of this piece presides as royalty over the kingdom of satire. She tells her story coyly at first, and though she has twisted her argument into something much darker by the conclusion, it never loses its wit and sarcasm. The pitiful husband preaching Brady’s words just cannot seem to get what he wants in life – what a shame! Each satirical quip is like an additional stab wound to the wives’ oppressors, their guilt oozing out onto the freshly scrubbed tile floor, until we finally reach the cause of death. The final line, “my god, who wouldn’t want a wife”, is dripping in sarcasm, as well as something thicker and darker, because the tone with which it is read is absolutely lethal (Brady p. 10). The author crafts her tone with such delicacy that it leaves the reader awestruck and craving more, a technique which is aided by her consistent use of the literary technique parallelism.

If one were to skim “I Want a Wife”, as people often do rather than immersing themselves in the prose, the use of repetition and parallelism is blatantly obvious. The title of the piece is more than an introduction of the topic, but a chant that grows slowly louder the further one reads. Nearly every sentence of the essay begins in the same way, “I want a wife…,” and rather than getting monotonous with this repetition like a pop song overplayed on the radio, Brady is capable of making these parallel phrases more meaningful with each utterance (Brady p. 1-10). This needy desire for an automaton-like spouse spirals downward from the role of receptionist to sex slave within a matter of ten paragraphs, hitting the reader with such candidness they are left reeling and in need of something to cleanse their minds from such brutal thoughts – which is exactly what the author wants. Her goal is make people feel dirty about the roles given to women in society, and for them to want to change the way the female population is viewed. With every repetition of the essay’s title, the author draws the audience further in. Every time they hear the phrase “I want a wife” followed by some obligatory chore, another person commits themselves to aiding the feminists’ cause (Brady p. 1-10).

Judy Brady wrote this piece in 1971, as a woman in a strange time in the United States. Equality was being fought for on all fronts, and it is difficult to realize that four decades later that war has not been won. “I Want a Wife” is so effective because it is unfortunately still relevant to society, and the fire of rebellion and change has not yet reached its highest heat (Brady). The author’s honesty is pertinent to the thoughts of women all across America. Aided by her use of literary techniques like rhetorical appeals, satirical tone, and parallelism, Brady crafted a timeless piece of art that stokes the fire of change, a nearly impossible feat for most people. The essay makes the reader want to get up and do something to change the world, and any work capable of inflicting such energy is impossible to argue against.

 

 

Works Cited

Brady, Judy. “I Want a Wife.” 1971. Essay. January 2015.

Past Assignments

Internet Vs. In Print

11/15/15

There is no question that the news industry has advanced tremendously over the past two-hundred years since newspapers became popular in the United States. What began as periodically-occurring newssheets in the 1700s has transformed into a persistent twenty-four hour news cycle that Benjamin Franklin would barely recognize. Technological changes have greatly altered the practices of our society, and the news process did not escape such drastic alterations, particularly with the addition of the internet to the list of informational sources. The World Wide Web left traditional media scrambling to catch up and, in order to compete with the internet, forced it to diversify narrower than ever before, while questioning how this new online format was supposed to bring in a profit.

The invention and development of the internet has spawned a niche market for almost everything one could think of, with an infinite number of websites and the ability to make a site for any chosen topic, no matter bizarre it may seem. Where previously new technology spurred small bouts of diversification throughout history, the internet nearly obliterates the need for mass communication due to its endless nooks and crannies. There is now an online resource for any type of news, and traditional news sources like newspapers have struggled to keep up with the online world. In the past, where it was common for towns to have one or two weekly papers, cities like Indianapolis now have a total of nine in circulation at any given time, most with a very specific audience in mind (USNPL, 2015). A great example of this diversification is the Indianapolis publication Nuvo Newsweekly, the self-described “alternative voice” of the city, with its writers offering up relentlessly honest articles on everything from liberal hatred of Republican political strategies to challenging whether or not Instagram photos should be considered art (Dolan, 2015). Nuvo is anything but an average newspaper, blatantly targeting the liberal Democratic sector of Indianapolis, and it does a fantastic job of competing with the stylishly biased sources of the internet, right down to the creative opinions its writers craft, closely mimicking that of a blog. Of course, even once traditional media found a way to match the infiniteness of the web, broadcasters and print publishers alike were still hemorrhaging profit in a way that closely matched the blood loss of a Tarantino movie.

The early 2000s caused such an urgency to get everything online that news stations conjured up websites faster than anyone could say the word ‘profit’, and as a result, the industry took a huge hit to the wallet they’re still attempting to make up for ten years later. In the short amount of time it took newspapers like the Indy Star to have a website up and running, the thought of a pay wall was all but forgotten, such was the fate of papers across the United States. Once the error had been realized, newspapers were once again frantic, this time rushing to build pay walls and keep people from accessing news for free. As we now know, the internet became so popular because it was difficult to charge people for accessing sites, (AOL’s ‘walled garden’ concept), and despite the addition of online subscriptions that limit the access of readers, it is always possible to find the news story one wants to read from a different, free source. Not only did the news industry lose money due to the ease of access for online information, it has been persistently pick-pocketed by the sudden scarcity of advertising available. Just as with news, advertising too went digital, taking with it the need for classified ads. The diversification of news also led to the divergence of commercials, with companies targeting only those news outlets that pertain to their primary market, and with the internet’s ability to track people’s favorite sites and searches, it functions as the ultimate form of micro-targeting. As a result, newspapers across the nation to teamed up with websites like www.monster.com, which boasts the nation’s largest newspaper partner recruitment network, to attempt to regain some lost profit from a lack of classifieds (Monster, 2015). This solution, while not the most productive for newspapers, is the best of the situation and makes up an adequate amount of profit in comparison to the lack of revenue companies would see without such compromises.

All in all, the industry has adapted, though somewhat haphazardly, to the immense technological changes that have swept over the United States in the past two-hundred years since newspapers became a consistent addition to everyday life. The news process, while it was unable to escape drastic alteration, will continue to live prosperously as long as its mediators remain educated on advances in society. The World Wide Web might have initially left traditional media scrambling to catch up, but after a decade of revolutionized relaying of information, it has become clear that though the industry will need to remain open to adaptation, it will always be a central part of modern society.

 

 

 

Works Cited

Dolan, S. (2015, September 23). Kicking and Screaming Til They Get Their Way. Nuvo Newsweekly, pp. 3-4.

Monster. (2015, May). Alliances and Partnerships. Retrieved from Monster.com: http://partner.monster.com/newspapers

USNPL. (2015). Indiana Newspapers. Retrieved from USNPL: http://www.usnpl.com/innews.php