Las Vegas, Nevada—The Perfect Place to Escape from Reality

25 Jul

Hash House a Go Go-Crsipy salmon sandwich

I recently was able to visit Las Vegas for the first time. Vegas was how I envisioned it, full of lights, colors, casinos and happiness. As you walk down the strip you stumble upon flashing lights, traffic and crowds of cheerful people.

Vegas is a place where you can escape from reality. While there, you can be careless, live life freely and stress free. The city is full of surprises, you never know what you will see or encounter in this extravagant place.

It only takes a few days to fall in love with this city. I recommend taking a summer weekend vacation with your significant other, your girl friends, your guy friends or in my case, your amazing older sister.

Here are a few easy steps to follow to visit a destination you will never forget.

1. Booking the flight- Start looking ahead of time so you can pay less for summer flights.

2. Hotel reservations- There are tons of hotels that provide great offers and discounts. Don’t be alarmed by the prices, you can find some great deals.

I stayed at the Luxor hotel, which is shaped like a pyramid. The service was great and the hotel was nice. The only downside was the distance from The Strip. Therefore, I would suggest a better location such as the Palazzo, Monte Carlo or the Cosmopolitan.

3. Physical Activity-Be ready to walk a lot! Yes, there are taxis, shuttles and the Tram, but I recommend you walk. I believe that by walking you can discover and see way more of what the city has to offer.

4. Casinos-If you go to Vegas, you must gamble. Playing the machines are enjoyable and you never know, you may be that lucky player who wins the $10,000 or $100,000 jackpot.

5. The Architecture- Check out all the artwork and different themes in each casino. There is the Venetian, where you feel like you have stepped inside little Italy, Ceasars Palace, and the Cosmopolitan.

6. Freemont- Visit the old strip, Freemont. It’s a quite a change from the new Strip. While there you can even go zip lining.

7. Tan- Enjoy the sunshine, especially the 100 degree weather in the summer.

8. Nightlife-Do not forget to check out the nightlife. Go clubbing and get your dance on. There are a lot of bars and clubs to visit. Check out LAX in Luxor or my favorite, Lavo. At Lavo, I was able to see Lupe Fiasco perform—remember you never know what you will bump into in Las Vegas.

9. Drinks-If you are 21, which I highly recommend you should be before visiting Vegas, you can enjoy the many fruity, sweet, tangy delicious drinks.

10. The food-There are a lot of places to eat while in Vegas. Warning, the food is a little pricey, but well worth it. I recommend to stop by and pick up some burgers and fries at Dick’s Last Resort. At Dick’s you will be treated like, “a dick,” hence the name. The waiters do a great job of staying in character. Believe me you will be in for some laughs if you go eat there.

For example, I asked for no onions on my burger and was replied back by the waiter, “This isn’t Burger King sunshine pick them off yourself!” Also, hats with inappropriate sayings are placed on your heads. Therefore, if you do not like to be treated like a “dick” this is not the restaurant for you.

And a must go for breakfast, lunch or dinner is House Hash A Go Go. The food is divine and affordable. I had the best crisp salmon sandwich. The salmon was fried in cornmeal and was light and fluffy inside a whole wheat bun with tomatoes, lettuce, onion and chili mayo sauce. The sandwich also came with a crisp fresh salad, topped with tomatoes, radishes, bread crumbs and a delicate, refreshing cucumber dressing.

As you can see, I had a blast in Vegas and will be visiting again soon to enjoy the nightlife, entertainment and food.


Duke University Implements Crisis Communication Strategies

30 Jun

What crisis communication strategies can be used to address a crisis situation? To find out, I read an academic journal article this week for my public relations class. I chose the following article:

Fortunato, J.A. (2008). Restoring a reputation: The Duke University lacrosse scandal. Public Relations Review, 34(2), 116-123.

The article demonstrates theoretical concepts for crisis communication strategies in public relations and how those strategies can be used to cope with a crisis situation.

The case that was analyzed implementing these strategies was the lacrosse team scandal at Duke University. The public relations crisis in this study occurred March 13, 2006, at Duke when three lacrosse team members created what has been coined as the “Duke lacrosse scandal.” The three players were accused of first-degree rape and sexual assault of an exotic African-American dancer they personally hired. The scandal not only affected the lacrosse team members but also Duke.

The case analyzes Duke’s communication response to the scandal through the concept of message framing and how Duke’s actions illustrated theoretical concepts.

The article reviewed Benoit’s image restoration strategies:

  1. Denial strategy: The organization claims there is no crisis or actions to be implemented.
  2. Evasion of responsibility strategy: The organization blames others for the crisis to try and reduce their responsibility.
  3. Attempt to reinforce strategy: The organization reduces the offensiveness of the acts by demonstrating good traits within the organization.
  4. Corrective action strategy: The organization implements steps to fix the problem and prevent further incidents from occurring.
  5. Mortification strategy: The organization accepts responsibility for the crisis and apologizes.

Since the scandal involved underage drinking and collegiate athletics, the story received the attention from various mass media outlets.

The analysis consisted of examining the website ( that Duke created to deal with the crisis.

The website contains news releases, statements from President Richard Brodhead, footage from CBS’ 60 Minutes interview with Brodhead, committee reports and Q&A from Duke Alumni.


Duke’s communication response consisted of conducting news conferences, writing news releases, and creating a website. Brodhead took leadership of dealing with the crisis by communicating to the public the facts of the incident. He composed a letter to the Duke community outlining the steps the university would make to deal with the crisis. Brodhead explained that the incident intertwined with cultural issues; Brodhead believed that the problem needed to be recognized and addressed to its stakeholders such as alumni, students and parents. He informed the public that this incident created an opportunity for the university. This opportunity demonstrated how the university realized the incident was not appropriate behavior but that the incident by no means is an indication of the reputation of Duke.

Duke’s corrective actions consisted of forming committees that addressed the cultural issue, taking the initiative to cancel the lacrosse season and addressing the issue of alcohol on campus.


Duke faced the scandal and used theoretical concepts that were presented by researchers Benoit and Coombs to create image restoration. Furthermore, Duke implemented the following strategies to deal with the crisis and restore its reputation:

  • Mortification strategy: Duke accepted responsibility for the incident and took action.
  •  Reinforce strategy: Duke reduced offensiveness and illustrated good traits the university portrays.

Limitations to the analysis of the case consist of organizations reluctance to reveal its communication strategies. To evaluate the case there can only be inferences about the organization’s preparedness for the crisis. This analysis does not measure the effectiveness of Duke’s response to the incident.

Communicating with Young Diverse Professionals

24 May

The profession of public relations is becoming more diverse, which is why it is essential that PR pros mentor young people of color to achieve leadership roles in the work field of PR.

Many future leaders in PR positions and in the workforce have been projected to be Latinos.

Reaching out, educating and mentoring young individuals in Latino communities can be accomplished in the following ways:

  • Provide guidance on career choices
  • Share your personal experiences and how you discovered your career
  • Provide constructive feedback
  • Help set up professional goals

As the saying goes it takes two to get the job done. Young diverse professionals need to make an effort to communicate with professionals and search for a mentor.

Lori George Billingsley, PRSA blogger, states, “My mentor of 18 years, Debra A. Miller, Ed.D., APR, fellow PRSA, has been instrumental in helping me secure all of the PR jobs I have held.”

Where to begin?

These are initial steps becoming a mentee:

  • Ask questions
  • Speak up and engage in conversations
  • Make time to find a mentor
  • Strive for goals

Where to search for a mentor?

There are many helpful online Latino-based programs and resources that will help you find a professional mentor.

Latina Expert is a leadership blog that will guide Latina advancement in work and life. The blog serves as a discussion platform where story telling, feedback and advice will be provided about facing America’s corporations. The blog is a place where Latinas can share their experiences and dilemmas as they journey their way to finding a career.

Searching for local PRSA chapters in your area is good idea. For example, there  is YP/PRSA-LA Mentorship Program in Los Angeles, Calif. The program helps young professionals succeed at finding a mentor. Mentors and mentees are paired based on their interests, abilities and experiences.

Someone who has experienced being a mentor is Alicia Thompson, director of communications at Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits. Thompson said, “I have had the opportunity to mentor several young professionals of color over the years and it is always a wonderful feeling when they excel in their chosen areas.”

The cycle will then hopefully repeat and the mentee will soon become a mentor and share his or her experiences with perspective mentees.


Public Relations after College

17 Apr

Adrienne Webb, Vox Public Relations Senior Manager

Finding a job after graduating from college has increasingly become a challenge for students. Students after graduation are usually in a hurry and panic mode to find a job. As students, we have been asked many times, what our major is and where do we plan to work after college?

Good news. There is no need to fear of hunting for a job after college if you are a public relations major. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the job outlook for PR managers and specialists is looking quite appealing to the growth market.

The BLS said that the employment of PR managers and specialists is expected to grow 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, which is faster than the average for all occupations. A factor that is greatly helping with the increase in employment growth for public relations specialists is the increase use of social media. BLS statistics state that, “These new media outlets will create more work for communication between organizations and the public.”

A prime example of how finding a job after college is not the impossible task is through the journey of Adrienne Webb, senior manager at Vox Public Relations Public Affairs firm in Portland, Ore.

Webb’s journey consisted of graduating from the University of Oregon in 2010. During her last term at UO she received an internship at Vox. After graduation, Webb continued her internship and after a year was hired on as a permanent PR specialist.

Vox, is Latin for voice. The firm focuses on communications, crisis communication and, strategy and communication counsel. There are many sectors within the business including healthcare, land use, retail, technology and higher educations. Vox’s specialty areas are: social media, marketing, media relations and community relations.

Webb mentioned that there is no training process for the job and you are hired based on your credentials and work experience. At Vox, she said there are a total of 10 employees and at any given time there can be 23 clients.

Webb, believes that one must be able to comprehend PR in the following four ways:

  1. You need to have some understanding of what media means both in the U.S. and worldwide and how it is constantly evolving.
  2. You must be able to articulate, have background in journalism and background in marketing and branding.
  3. You must be strategic and observant.
  4. You must understand that the news cycle is every minute. Therefore, you must be a quick thinker and develop all the material in a few hours.

Furthermore, if you can understand these four roles of PR, begin to apply for internships and receive experience in the PR field there is a high chance you will be hired as PR specialist after graduation too.