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Voices of Women Voters | Chapter 2

Healthcare? Economy? Reality TV?

women voters

What is on the minds and hearts of women during this election cycle? Hop over to the Voices of Women Voters page to see the latest installment in this series. Women continue to offer many different and fascinating thoughts, ideas and worries.

{Check it out here!}


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Voices of Women Voters – Chapter 1

Do you ever feel like your voice isn’t being heard? Do you feel the media paints limited pictures of women, and you don’t fit in any of those categories? What are you most interested in about the upcoming presidential election?

women voters

These questions–and more–are what I’m hoping to investigate with my new project, Voices of Women Voters. You may have noticed the new page on the blog, and will be an ongoing project as I look at how women are thinking about politics and representation of women.

Head on over to the Voices of Women Voters page and see the first chapter of this project. I’d love your thoughts, comments or feedback!

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The Power Of An Editorial Calendar

I love a good calendar.


Every year, I painstakingly pick out my planner, open its crisp, new pages and begin to fill in each little box, as if they were each a new opportunity to do something new, experience something new or plan for something new. It’s a science AND an art to make sure a calendar meets my standards:

1. Enough space in each calendar block to write multiple things (I have high expectations for my social life)

2. Enough extra day or “notes” pages to write assignments, To Do lists, grocery lists, or those desperate doodles made during meetings or classes

3. A tough cover that won’t tear because that sucker will get pulled in and out of my purse/bag/laptop case one million times over the next year and it needs a little oomph to make it through

4. Inspirational – whether it’s my color of the moment or a specific design I’m loving, it’s got to make me smile when I take it out

(P.S. Confession time: For my senior year in high school, everyone was required to put one item in a time capsule we will open at our 10-year reunion next year. Can you guess what I put in as my item? That’s right….my planner. I know. My name is Stephanie, and I have a problem.)


But, if you’re like the other 99% that have moved onto electronic calendars a la Google Calendar, iCal or Outlook, then these rules seem antiquated. AND with the proliferation of social media, having an on-the-go, update-able and sync-able calendar is imperative, especially if you’re in the marketing, PR or advertising world. I’m taking baby steps to go in this direction.

More commonly known as editorial calendars or content strategies, these calendars and planning tools can help sort all your ideas, posts, blogs, photos, etc. out to ensure you’re keeping all your content fresh.

I’ve pulled a few great blog posts about this topic, hoping to stir my own creativity to create something like this for this blog, or future clients, or for my own personal life maintenance. Take a look at what some of the experts are saying OR share your favorite calendar/organizing trick with us all!

4 Ways To Beat The Social Media Clock via PRBreakfastClub

Content Strategy Is, in fact, The Next Big Thing via Brain Traffic

Social Media Calendar Template via Ekcetera Design Studio

Organize Your Social Media Efforts via @MaryFletchJones

How To Create a Social Media Editorial Calendar via Search Engine Watch

Let’s get planning!

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You Can’t Be What You Can’t See

“You can’t be what you can’t see.”

Everyone knows the media is in every part of our lives. Recent statistics show that teenagers consume up to 10 hours PER DAY of media. That includes music, television, radio, Internet, etc. What’s even more interesting is the power the media has in shaping the messages we see. Advertising, reality television, news broadcasts, you name it, all have the power to frame messages that make you, the consumer, more apt to believe, buy or internalize.

So what happens when these teenagers that consume so much media, are only exposed to a limited number of roles, stereotypes and definitions of what they can be? Specific to young girls, what does it say for our society that girls are exposed to unlimited amounts of reality television where the women are fighting, spitting on each other, openly having sex with their male counterparts, yet, often can’t name one woman senator or representative? What are the effects of this perpetual regurgitating of limited models of femininity?

“Miss Representation” – a documentary about the inequality of women in the media addresses this very issue. It focuses on the limited roles available to women in the media, the metaphorical boxes the media like to put women in and the effects this can have on young girls. It discusses how limited, positive examples of strong women in media can disrupt a young girls construction of identity. It even covers how young boys are socialized in specific ways that hinder their full emotional and behavioral growth. I would recommend this film to anyone interested in this topic.

Watch the trailer here:

From the film’s website: “In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only 3% of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.”

While explaining the film to Jason, he (politely) asked me last night “when will it be enough? what will it take for women to say ‘we’ve succeeded?'” And I don’t think I know the answer. But I think education about these statistics and the inequalities that exist is the first step. I think for me, success will be when women do not feel limited in any opportunities they want to pursue, nor feel judged for their actions. But that’s easy to say. How can we put it in action?

What do you think? Do you think the media incorrectly portrays women? And how would like to see it resolved?

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There’s a Hole In My Media Bucket

I’m a traditionalist at heart. I love the process, strategy and experience of print advertising, TV and even radio. But I’m no sucker either. I know the cataclysmic shift to all things digital in the marketing world is better, more targeted, more efficient and more tailored to each consumer’s needs.

A recent article by Marc Brownstein in AdAge addressed just that dilemma. How to sustain traditional forms of marketing, while also taking advantage of the increasing and ever-growing digital world. He advocates for a better mix, rather than an only digital approach. Take for example:

“All I have to do is look around me to see people’s media-consuming habits. My wife and kids watch TV every night — often with a mobile or tablet device on their laps. My employees, their families and my friends consume media in similar ways. I’ve spoken to many others in various age categories about their routines and hear similar answers. My study may not be highly scientific, but it does confirm that people of all ages and income brackets still watch, read and listen to a variety of media.” — Marc Brownstein

Mix it up people. This is what excites me most about marketing. So many tools at your disposal and deciding which bucket different amounts of money are invested in is like a puzzle. Finding the right mix can lead to a more strategic and balanced campaign, and if you ever have a leaky bucket, there’s always opportunities to plug it with something else that is better, more strategic and even more measurable.

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What I’m Reading This Week

It is late in the semester, but I thought it fun to share the books that I’m reading either through school or fun…mostly school….less fun….well, all school….no fun. You get the idea.

So here’s what’s on tap this week:

Covering Islam: How The Media And The Experts Determine How We See The Rest Of The World

A new territory for me. I have never had to look up so many words or terms in one book. I am completely illiterate on this subject, and interested to read it, but am having trouble understanding. Although it is a nice break from all the previous books we’ve read this semester focusing on journalism in the early 20th Century.






Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propoganda. Noam Chomsky’s backpocket classic on wartime propaganda and opinion control begins by asserting two models of democracy—one in which the public actively participates, and one in which the public is manipulated and controlled.






And one last book, that is all for me. This is our Bible study for this semester. And I have so enjoyed going through this study about false idols. It gives me a reason to step away and introspectively think, reflect and pray. A really thoughtful, and well put together study by Kelly Minter.

Happy reading!