What is Public Relations?

public_relations

There seems to be this dogma out there that public relations is just a less volatile form of advertising. In some instances, I would have to agree with that. It often does seem like companies try to use public relations as a way to blow over any issues that arise externally. However, I feel that if executed correctly, public relations is a really helpful tool in implementing feedback.

It’s no longer just about the company. In this day and age, everything is based around the consumer. The consumer has easy access to the entire world through any form of social media on the Internet. This means that bad press cannot be controlled by the PR practitioner, instead it has to be appeased. The process of feedback works best here because if the consumer realizes that a company decided to take his or her opinions into consideration, he or she will begin to see the loyalty of the company brand. It’s a crucial form of two-way communication that is the foundation for any business and it is the responsibility of the PR communicator to make sure the channels are clear at all times.

As a student in the Principles of Public Relations class at USF, I feel that I have learned a plethora of crucial information pertaining to the field. This semester has primarily focused on learning how PR coordinates within the overall marketplace and the specific duties of the PR practitioner. The class uses real time examples to explain the situations PR can be used to resolve, and enable. For instance, PR has been used in Africa recently to communicate symptoms of Ebola and to show sick natives where to seek treatment. PR has also been used to market an entire line of new technologies created by Apple. It has also been misused in cases as a result of poor research, such as a pizza company advocating domestic violence through a trending hashtag.

Despite all the flaws and undiscovered waters that have yet to be tread in public relations, it remains an important tool for corporate responsibility, community outreach, transparency and resolved feedback. PR exists for the protection of the consumer and the company, which is a very difficult line to blend.

Below is a video about the influence of social media in economics which describes its importance in social media-driven consumer feedback.

Cosplay Nostalgia: The Lifetime Friend

You know that feeling when you put something away for the last time, something that meant a lot to you? Or take for example a football player who has just finished the last season of his career and he is tasked with putting his uniform away. Putting the uniform away is such a difficult task, how do you lay to rest something that carries pieces of your memories, forever? It seems like it should be an easy task, yet that is hardly the case.

This nostalgic notion of burying away something important presents itself to cosplayers every day! To put a costume away after wearing it at a con is always such a sentimental feeling. The costume probably took much time and effort to make. Not to mention all the great memories you made and people you met because of it. It represents an experience of its own kind; a time when you were someone else, someplace else.

Image

Sure the costume may get reused eventually, perhaps at a different con. However, there is no telling when that moment may come.  All that is for sure is that the memories made in it are easily re-lived by simply wearing it again. Needless to say that is a truly magical experience.

As for me, I always carefully put my costumes away in a secret location where I know they won’t be disturbed. Though sometimes, I stumble upon them and reminisce in the wonder of who I was in the past and how well I cosplayed my character and sewed my costume. It’s all relative to the experience of cosplaying, and so far it has never been a bad one. I place my costumes away with a deep love and anxiety burning in the pit of my stomach. Anxiety partly caused by the mystery and wonders of who I can be next.

To join me on that journey, please follow JDCosplay on Facebook. Help me say goodbye to the old and determine the new. Although if you’re feeling really generous help some of the acts stay alive year-round by requesting your favorite cosplays. Who says goodbye has to be forever?

Red Hood for a Day: An Easy Cosplay

Is there a comic convention coming up soon that you really want to attend but have no costume prepared for it? Fear not! For there surely is a solution to your problem; a very easily prepared costume that doesn’t require much but will attract a lot of attention.

Although there is always the option of attending a comic con dressed in “civilian” clothes, we all know that’s against the spirit of comic cons. Besides, sometimes the best part of the convention is getting asked to have your picture taken and no one wants to take a photo with civilian number three. That’s precisely why I devised a relatively simple way to attract a lot of attention without having to find time in your busy life to sew together a costume or to sculpt props.

The following tutorial is a way to create a Red Hood costume from DC Universe’s Batman series. Red Hood is the second Robin (formerly known as Jason Todd) Batman employed and the first one to get killed in battle by the Joker. However, Jason Todd came back to life in a series of catastrophic events and took the identity of Red Hood; the original identity of the Joker. He now resides as an anti-hero and mercilessly kills any villains who dare get in his way. With some inner resent geared towards Batman, Red Hood is a popular choice for modern comic conventions. His allies as of 2011, The Outlaws, are widely popular. Which is why this costume is perfect for anyone looking to garner fan attention without having to exert too much effort. Note: This costume can be slightly modified to fit women or men and can even double as a Nightwing costume.

Materials Needed:

Image

Black Scuba Suit

Image

Brown Jacket

Image

Combat Boots

Image

Black Gloves

Image

Fake Guns (Make sure to leave the orange stopper in, otherwise you’ll get kicked out by con security!)

Image

Red Foam Paper

Image

Paintball Skull Mask

Red Acrylic Paint

Brushes

Image

Utility Belt

Red Spray Paint

Hot Glue

The materials basically wear themselves and can easily be found on Amazon or eBay for $10 a pop. This costume is actually a bit cheaper than buying fabric and sewing it together yourself.

The only manipulations you will need to do, is paint the paintball skull mask a bright red color using some brushes and red acrylic paint. You should also cut out a NightWing or Bat Symbol from some foam paper that you can spray with red spray paint. After the Bat Symbol has been spray painted and dried it can be placed on the chest piece of the scuba suit.

You are welcome to change the costume as you wish. If you have time, you can spray paint some square foam pieces black and arrange them on the mid-torso region of the scuba suit so they look like ab muscles. Other things you can do include adding bondo auto-body filler onto the paintball mask and shaping and sanding it so that more features like the nose and mouth are included onto the helmet. The utility belt can also be manipulated to look more like it is full or to feature different things. Kneepads and leg straps can add to the look making it more action-like.

 

Overall the end result should look something like this:

ImageImage

 

The idea is quick and easy, especially for a last-minute con! Not to mention, no one will question the quality of the work because it is well put together. It is also a great first cosplay idea; it can give you the feel for cosplaying at a convention without wearing an over-dramatic or uncomfortably made first costume. Maybe soon you’ll be making your own red hoods!

Image

 

Need more easy cosplay ideas? Simply comment below or share yours, sometimes it is hard to make a costume for every con that goes on in a year. This is all the more reason to mix it up and let yourself relax every now and then.

Dress Up Your Eggs for Easter

In the spirit of Cosplay, dressing up is one of the most important aspects, and so is dressing up well. So for this Easter, why not dress your eggs up really well too? If you’re looking for a creative and fun new way to decorate your Easter eggs, try a typical Serbian Orthodox Easter egg decoration tradition. It’s loads of fun and a completely dye-free natural way to impress the Easter Bunny.

Image

Materials you will need:

1)   4 sets of large nylon pantyhose (preferably in a beige color)

2)   30 eggs of any size, natural and cage-free eggs work best (usually are beige as well)

3)   1 spool of crochet thread

4)   Scissors

5)   1.5 lbs. of red onion shells (dried onion skins- outer layer only)

6)   Small green leaves or flowers of your choosing, must be small enough to cover an egg and should be freshly-picked (you can go to a park and pick out various leaves or flowers- nothing poisonous though!)

7)   1 large and tall metal pot

 

First you want to gather all your leaves and other materials on the table you will be working on. You can begin preparing the leaves that you will use for the eggs or you can pick them as you go. Make sure that before you begin making the eggs you cut the leggings of your pantyhoses into 3 by 3 inch squares that have a top and bottom flap. This is how the leaf will be fastened. It would also help to cut the crochet thread into 6-inch pieces at this point. Follow the example in the pictures below if you are unsure about the measurements.

Image Image

 

After all the pre-prep is done, you can begin dressing up your egg. Begin with taking a leaf and placing it face down onto the egg so the back stem of the leaf faces you (this will help the shell absorb the water from the leaf better). Then wrap one section of the nylon stocking around the egg on the side with the leaf. You can add another leaf to the opposite side of the egg at this point or just leave it with one leaf. Pull the nylon tightly around the egg so that the leaf cannot move apart from the egg; make sure the nylon covers the whole egg. When you have done so, tie the excess nylon, tightly like you would a ponytail, with the crochet thread. Tie it a few times until you are sure it won’t budge. The egg should look like the following picture at this stage:

ImageImage

ImageImage

If you’ve successfully completed the first egg, the process for the other 29 is the same! Continue to pick out new leaves until you’ve dressed up all your eggs. When you are ready, get a large and equally as tall pot out to boil your eggs.

Image

Place the 1.5 lbs. of onion shells into the pot and fill it halfway up with water. Begin gently placing your eggs on top of the shells, letting them slowly sink to the bottom. Make sure they are submerged or the color will not stick. You can add a pinch of vinegar to the pot if you’d like. Boil the eggs at the temperature you normally would. Make sure the water doesn’t run out during the process; this is where the magic happens. Allow the eggs to boil till finished for at least 30 minutes to 45 minutes.

Image

When you believe the eggs have been thoroughly cooked, leave them to cool in the pot for 20 minutes. Start taking them out one by one after they have cooled and gently remove their nylon stockings and leaves by cutting through the nylon. Wipe them off with a paper towel or rag that has been dipped in vegetable oil. Place the eggs into a basket or a final resting place of your choice and enjoy! They should be a crimson or burgundy red color except for where the leaves were; those spots should be imprinted onto the egg like a fossil into a rock. The leaf prints should be yellow. If any of the eggs are cracked, fear not! They are still edible and completely harmless because they’ve been died using only natural ingredients, unlike harmful commercial Easter dyes.

ImageImage

If you really want to make the dressed up Easter eggs fun, try egg tapping. As par tradition in Serbia, people will hit each other’s eggs using the tops and bottoms of the eggs to see which is stronger. The owner of the egg that doesn’t break is said to receive happiness and good fortune throughout the year!

Image

The Group Dynamic

I’d like to present my readers with something a little bit different today. I know I usually talk about comic books or cosplays but there’s something I grew up with that led me to really love cosplay and I think this same value is what continues to bring people into the cosplay world. To begin with, I will show you guys some of my favorite shows growing up followed by a description of the plot. See if you can find the connection between all these shows and the connection to why anyone should or would cosplay these characters.

Image

 

1. Winx Club is a show about 6 fairy friends that attend a fairy college and learn to use their powers to help others, often saving the world with their male counterparts who wield magical weapons at the school of heroes.

Image

2. 6Teen is a show about six very different teens (no way!) who all work at the same mall together. They get into all kids of trouble, all the time!

Image

3. Scooby-Doo is a show about four friends and their dog who travel across the world and solve mysteries.

Image

4. Teen Titans is a show about five teenage superheroes who fight crime under the leadership of the Boy Wonder. They also live together and conflicts often arise.

Image

5. Yugioh! is a show about deck masters who possess special powers and fight for control of the world through magical monster card games.

Image

 

6. Avatar: The Last Airbender is a show about the ancient Asian peoples who can control elements and their struggle for world peace.

Image

7. Code Lyoko is a show about five friends who possess the power to enter virtual realities and stop virtual threats from entering the physical world.

Image

 

8. Totally Spies is show about three teenage spies who get recruited on important missions by a secret world organization.

Image

 

9. Young Justice is show about superhero sidekicks who create a junior hero branch and fight various crimes together without their superhero leaders.

 

If you haven’t caught on to this list or as to what’s similar between all these shows (besides the fantastic stories), I hope you realize that what made these shows successful was the group dynamic. Each show has such varying and different story lines but they all have a group dynamic, the main characters in the show are all friends of some sort who share a living space or other aspects of their life that brings them together. I believe that’s something really important to showcase in the media, especially to younger audiences; to work together as a team. No matter how tough it gets, these friends always make it through tough times because they have each other. The idea of a group as stronger than the individual is really wonderful in connecting people together because when we work together we can achieve more than by working individually. Growing up, I’ve always wanted to be part of a group; a group that is different all around and has different people and personalities and opinions. To me the group dynamic is something I’ve always yearned for. I always thought it was always interesting how there could be all these different people with different backstories coming together because of one single interest that sets them apart from everyone else.

When I was 18, I finally discovered it; the group dynamic that connects many different people together from all over the world; cosplay. The group dynamic I was looking for all along was a lot closer than I thought, it was right in front of me. To go from feeling like I could never have those friends that share the same interests as me to having a whole convention-full, the group dynamic burns strong.

Comic-Con in Scooby-Doo

Most people know how the media portrays any sort of conventions, right? A bunch of nerds with nothing better going on in their lives, gathering together in a cult of geekiness. However, have you ever noticed that conventions pop up in places outside of television shows, like other cartoons?

The one in particular that I’m alluding to is Scooby-Doo. The other day I watched an episode of “What’s New Scooby Doo,” where the gang goes to a sci-fi convention center to celebrate a virtual reality game that is based on solving mysteries.

In the episode, the gang dresses up as various video game and superhero characters. Velma, on the other hand, like a lot of convention goers who only go for the entertainment, doesn’t dress up. You can see Daphne dressed up as a generic version of Batgirl below.

Image

Some of the characters that are portrayed in the show range from over-anxious fanboys that tend to take their costumes too seriously to violent card game players. The reason I’m pointing this out is because unlike other media, which shows conventions as just a geeky place to be, Scooby-Doo pokes fun at the various convention goers. Of course this is probably because Scooby-Doo is owned by Warner Bros who also own DC comics cartoons and the cartoon creators regularly make appearances in conventions.

Still it’s fun to think about real-life events that are portrayed in fantasy cartoons, especially one like Scooby-Doo, which revolves around costumes. In fact this episode about the convention doesn’t even feature a masked criminal. The take is so very real in a show about masked villains and unmasked heroes, which is oh so ironic.

Are there any shows that portray some of your favorite things in a comical or bad light? How much of the stereotype do you think is true?