Why Working at Nike is Even Better Than You Expected


I recently had the opportunity to talk with Brittney Orth, University of Oregon graduate who now works as a communications specialist for Nike in Portland. For many (including me), Nike is the dream job. It is trendy, innovative and exciting. It was always Brittney’s goal and since being hired on in 2014, it has been even more than she had hoped for.

Nike is not only product-oriented but also employee-oriented. Here is why working for Nike better than you ever imagined.

Encourage networking: Nike encourages internal networking. It is a fast-paced company with lots of opportunity for promotion and movement. Employees are encouraged to take two to three hours out of their schedule every month to grab a cup of coffee or have an informational meeting with other employees. This helps employees learn about different departments amidst a large company and determine where they might like to move in the future.

Help build your skill set: Nike funds workshops so that their employees can improve their skill sets. If employees are interested in improving their skills in programs applicable to their job duties, Nike sets them up with workshops and classes. Nike wants its employees to continue growing as professionals, working toward their career goals.

Nike is people-oriented. It not only wants its company to succeed but its employees to thrive, recognizing these results go hand-in-hand. Talking with Brittney, I was able to look past the swoosh and get a glimpse of what makes the brand so successful.

Our conversation helped me see that networking and skill development does not stop in college or after you land your first job. There is always something else you can learn or some way you can improve your work. Looking ahead, to graduation in spring 2016, I hope to find a job with a similar atmosphere, a place that encourages networking and skill development, like Nike. From what I see, it fosters valued employees that want to excel.


Kenneth Cole Fails Not Once But Twice on Twitter

If a social media fail happens more than once is it still considered an accident? Yes, I am talking about Kenneth Cole tweeting not once, but twice, about shoes and controversial war topics. This type of cringe-worthy content requires a good recovery plan and recognition that these actions have ramifications, which include loss of followers, customers, loyalty and respect. Let’s look at some of these tweets and how Kenneth Cole recovered from them.

The Expected Recovery

In September 2011, Cole tweeted the following amidst tension and violence building in Egypt.

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In this instance, Cole was trying to make a joke by saying that the uproar in Cairo must be because of the Kenneth Cole new spring collection. Cole recovered by apologizing a few hours later on Facebook, deleting the tweet, and calling his actions insensitive.

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This recovery was timely and direct, but many still viewed it as the easy way out. People who commented on the post anticipated that it would be taken down and knew that an apology was in order. Despite Cole’s apology, comments and outrage continued among followers. Although Cole made a good effort, crisis plans can always be improved. In this case, Cole could have been more thoughtful and personal in his response by tweeting at users apologizing individually, in addition to his Facebook apology.

Recover and Make an Impact

Clearly one twitter fail was not enough, because Cole crossed the line again in September 2013 when posting another tweet about shoes and war.

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In this case, Cole responded to the criticism differently, explaining his choice to post this tweet with a video on Instagram. In the video (link http://instagram.com/p/d5cHuHEgNq/?modal=true) he says, “For 30 years I have used my platform in provocative ways to encourage a healthy dialogue about important issues, including HIV/AIDS, war, and homelessness.”

This recovery is more thought out and planned. Cole speaks to his audience, addressing concerns and explaining his actions. I think his messaging was smart and purposeful, making this recovery much more effective.

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Following these instances, Cole included a small disclosure portion on his Twitter feed bio, which reads, “Designer, Aspiring Humanitarian, Frustrated Activist, Social Networker In training. My tweets are not representative of the corporate @kennethcole feed.” This bio addition is strategic for the Kenneth Cole brand, allowing Cole himself to have his own thoughts, opinions and be able to express these freely.

Social Media Fail Lessons Learned

  1. Consider the context of your tweets. Is this a controversial topic? Do you want this to be a part of you or your brand’s digital footprint?
  1. Recover with grace. Mistakes happen, so come up with the best possible recovery plan. This may be a public apology, news release or social media post, but make sure the recovery addresses the post and does not seem like the easy way out.
  1. Do not make the same mistake twice. This makes your first apology seem insignificant and now you have to work twice as hard to recover.
  1. Cover your bases. This might mean including a disclaimer on public figures profiles associated with your brand or including a statement about the brand’s beliefs on its website.
  1. Tag individuals in your apologies. This is a simple and personal way to show followers that you recognize their dissatisfaction and are taking steps to ensure the incident does not happen again.
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A Foot In The Door


This weekend I had an amazing opportunity to volunteer for the PAC 12 Women’s Basketball Tournament in Seattle, Washington. I had no idea what to expect. I went into the weekend knowing I had four days, 11 games and a lot to do ahead of me. I had never worked a tournament of this caliber before. Nevertheless, I packed my bags and made the five-hour drive from Eugene to Seattle late Wednesday night ready for anything thrown my way. The tournament started Thursday morning and I hit the ground running passing out stats, coordinating with each teams’ SID and delegating volunteers.

Most of you are probably thinking why would I go all the way to Seattle to run around and pass out stat sheets. Well, that’s where you start in sports. I jump at every opportunity presented to me because I never know where it will lead me. Yes, I expected to pass out stats and help with some grunt work, but what I didn’t expect was the level of generosity and kindness from the PAC 12 staff. Nearly everyone I met took it upon themselves to learn something about me, remember my name, check in with me, and talk to me about the sports industry.

I feel at ease that I am heading in the right direction in terms of a career in sports PR. This weekend motivated me to continue going after opportunities and networking. Women’s basketball holds a special place in my heart. After playing for 10 years, I have loved staying involved in the game while working towards my career goals. This weekend has helped me narrow my focus and interest in sports PR. I am looking forward to more opportunities that accelerate my career and where they lead me.

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A Blank Book

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A few days ago, I met with one of my advisors, Lori Shontz, to discuss the development of my senior thesis. Heading into the last term of my junior year, I realized that the looming idea of my thesis was not something I could put off any longer.

Lori and I met through my involvement in Oregon’s chapter of the Association of Women in Sports Media. When I mentioned that I was interested in exploring the topic of the role of women in sports media for my honors thesis, she quickly asked if I needed an advisor.

A few weeks ago, Lori challenged me to read, to read as much as I could, and develop a base knowledge about women in sports media. She gave me the names of reporters, organizations, professors, books and studies. I frivolously wrote down everything she said and spent the next two weeks doing exactly what she told me to do, read.

This was probably the most enjoyable deadline anyone has ever given me. Reading articles about the sports industry and how women are represented in it was not just a means of procrastination anymore. It was my first step in the development of my thesis.

When we met about my progress a few days ago, we found ourselves lost in conversation about the issues and topics I found compelling and worth questioning. After talking for an hour, we narrowed my focus and set goals for our next meeting.

Before I left, she pulled a small notebook out of her bag. She asked me, “Do you have one of these?” Although it seemed to be just a simple notebook, Lori knew it could be much more to me. She encouraged me to get one and to use it to write down the random thoughts, questions, names, quotes and inspirations that come to me during this process.

So now, I have my first of many notebooks. It is small, black, unlined and simple. Today it starts its story.

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How to Reach Diverse Audiences The Heineken Way

Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network event - NYC

Interested in helping your company reach more diverse audiences? Looking to reach a more diverse group of employees, customers or stakeholders? Here are the four simple steps that organizations across the world are implementing. Heineken USA used these tactics to accomplish its diversity goals and so can you.

1. Assess – Determine what your goals are. Ask yourself, who are you trying to reach? And how are you going to communicate your message? For Heineken this was a simple yet ambitious goal. It wanted to establish its self as an employer committed to diversity internally, to vendors, to the community, and in marketing. It planned to communicate this message on all platforms.

2. Research – Start strategizing. Conduct research based on your goals. This may have to do with your organizations diversity or the public’s perception of it. This step is extremely important to get a feeling for how customers, employees, vendors and the community feel about you. Heineken went through these same steps. Its focus was to find information about the perception of their company’s pledge to diversity.

3. Implement – Create a company-wide diversity statement that targets internal and external audiences. Then execute your campaign on all applicable platforms. Heineken went about this by creating the Heineken Diversity Council, a team dedicated to articulating the company’s diversity mission. The messaging they came up with was, “Our best ingredients are the talents of our people.” This campaign became an integral part of all of Heineken’s communication and was executed on all platforms.

4. Evaluate – Measure your organization’s success based on your goals. Were you looking for a more diverse group of job applicants, clients, vendors or opportunities? Was your campaign successful? If not, what could have been done better? Once you have looked at all the data, consider next steps. How will your company move forward and continue pursuing their diversity statement? Heineken achieved amazing results from its campaign. The company increased the diversity of its application pool and met their communication goals. To sustain this momentum their Diversity Council established a long-term action plan for future employees and created a corporate position that will continue to reinforce its mission.

The key to these steps is to make them your own. Your company will likely have different goals, messaging and audience than Heineken. In any case, follow these four steps, apply them to your own story, and you are well on your way to reaching more diverse audiences.

Find case study here.

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Why PR?


When you first meet someone the conversation usually starts by introducing yourself, talking about where you are from and then exchanging interests. Being a student, a common question I receive is, “What are you studying?” For me, it’s public relations.

I knew public relations was the path for me at college orientation. I met with an academic counselor to pick out my classes, and she asked me what I wanted to study. At that time I didn’t exactly know so I talked to her about my interest in communication, passion for writing and personal goals. That was when she directed me to the School of Journalism and Communication.

PR has so many facets and is applicable to any market. It allows for creativity, interpersonal communication, collaboration and innovation. This is an exciting time to be in the public relations field because traditional mediums and social networks are starting to merge. A PR campaign can include anything from news releases to social media campaigns, a radio spot, feature article or multimedia piece. These broad tactics help professionals develop a campaign tailored to their clients’ goals.

As a student, there are many unknowns about my future in the public relations field. I am not sure where I will end up after graduation. I may be in another state. I may be working for an agency or large corporation. I may move across the country or stay in Oregon. All I know is that I am seeking new experiences where I can learn and improve my skills. I want to tell a good story, a story that matters.

So that is why I chose PR. I am excited to see where it takes me.

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A Look Back

A new year usually means a new plan, a new goal and new direction. This year, before I start looking forward I want to take some time to reflect. 2014 was good to me. Here are the highlights.

1. I put on my first solo event, Best of Campus, while working for the Emerald Media Group. My team and I were able to increase voters by 19.8% and planned the first annual award ceremony that 51 people attended.

2. 2014 was the year of 20 year olds. My friends helped me ring in my 20th birthday as I helped them. I love birthdays, I think everyone deserves a day for them to be recognized, loved and celebrated. Looking back on all of these special days they all share three things in common: laughter, dancing and great company. Here’s to 2015, the year of 21 year olds.

3. My roommates (Emma and Lauren) and I toured California for spring break. We saw everything we possibly could in a week, starting at my house in the small town of Los Gatos, then venturing to Tahoe and San Francisco for a good mix of relaxation and fun!

4. I landed my dream internship with the University of Oregon athletic department. As a communications intern, I have found myself in press conferences, media days, the press box and locker rooms. I am currently working with the women’s basketball team. Giving back to a sport I love while working towards my career has been more than I ever expected.

5. I spent my first summer in Eugene. This is definitely something every student should do if they have the chance. I worked during the days and spent my evenings in great company, taking in the beauty of Oregon summers.

6. A summer in Eugene wouldn’t be complete without Country Fair. My best friend, Emma, has grown up in Eugene and has been going to Country Fair her whole life, so I tagged along with her family for debatably the most memorable four days of my life. The people, atmosphere and experience is indescribable. It is worth going even if you don’t think it is “your thing”. There are food vendors, music, shows and so much more. I hope to be back again.

7. I ventured to the Oregon coast. After a few hour car ride and long search for the beach I saw the Pacific Ocean from Oregon. This wasn’t a California beach. We parked a mile away, hiked over dunes, felt weeds in the sand and were wearing multiple layers in the middle of July, but still what a sight. Despite the chill, it was beautiful and the smell of the ocean was just as crisp as home.

8. I visited my friend Mairi in Seattle for a fun weekend before starting our junior year of college (I still can’t believe it). We were tourists for the day, shopping, riding the ferris wheel and visiting Pike’s Place and the original Starbucks. Seattle is such a fun city and definitely at the top of my list to move after graduation.

9. I moved into my sorority house. Living with over 50 girls in a beautiful mansion, it is true that there never a dull moment, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. There is always a friend down the hall ready to explore, make food with or just chat.

10. This fall my Nana and Pappap visited me in Eugene. The weekend was perfect with great food, a win for the Ducks, a walk, good conversation and the best grandparents.

Why Blog

Everyone has a reason to start a blog. For some it is for work, travel, to explore a passion, or to share knowledge. Blogs are an outlet for emotions, experiences, creative expression and information.

So why have I? For starters, I love reading blogs. They help me recognize the vast stories in the world and encourage me to keep pursuing my passions. I don’t expect to have an immense following, but if a few people can take something valuable from what I write, that is all I am hoping for.

This will be my start. My place to explore the odd, compelling and exquisite. No parameters or limits. No rules or expectations.

So here goes nothing.