2017, blog, blogpost, may

Career Growth Tips for Millennial PR Professionals

Being a young professional in the public relations industry is so exciting! And yet, kind of scary at the same time. There’s a lot to juggle and unfortunately, your Communications 102 course didn’t cover networking. Here’s some advice for millennials looking to grow their career in the PR industry.
Utilize all of LinkedIn
You probably made a LinkedIn when you were in college and it’s been collecting dust for a few years. Well, brush off that dust, look up your password and log back in.
  •         Add descriptions and job titles for previous work experience
    •    Include college and high school internships as well as volunteer work
    • List job duties, responsibilities, achievements, projects, and instances where you went above and beyond your job description. Include work samples and show off projects.
  •         Write articles on LinkedIn. This asserts your expertise on a topic, will be displayed at the top of your profile and shows you’re participating and adding content to the LinkedIn community.  
  •         Endorse skills and write recommendations for co-workers and people you’ve worked with in the past. What goes around comes around, as the great Justin Timberlake once said.
  •         Update your Headline and keep in mind LinkedIn’s algorithm uses these keywords.
  •         Write a summary that stands out from the crowd, avoids jargon and cliché’s and reflects who you are. Have some fun with it.
  •         Use a professional profile photo that is a nice headshot that doesn’t look like it came straight from Instagram. Sorry Mayfair filter, you don’t belong on LinkedIn.
  •         Participate in LinkedIn by Liking and Commenting on articles in your news feed. But, keep in mind, your entire network will be able to see what you like and comment on. With great power comes great responsibility.

Participate in Industry Groups
Connect with individuals who share your passion for PR in your community. Look at the websites of groups like American Marketing Association (AMA), American Advertising Federation (AAF), Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) or other related groups in your area. These groups are great for staying up to date on industry trends and networking.
  •         Sign up for their email newsletters
  •         Attend their events to learn more about what they do and who they are
  •         Consider investing in a yearly membership
  •         Get involved by joining a committee
  •         Stay up to date with PR industry trends by subscribing to relevant email newsletters and reading trade magazines.

Networking doesn’t have to be work
Sometimes the word networking can make introverts want to pull the covers over their heads. Re-frame the word by thinking about networking as making new friends and just keeping in touch with them.
·        You can meet people to network with anywhere, not just at specified networking events. A great place to meet new people is through volunteering at local events like fairs or festivals.
·        Most people will be happy to sit down with you and offer their perspective and advice. Everyone loves to talk about themselves and will be flattered you asked.
·        Offer to grab coffee with someone you’d like to get to know more. Come prepared by looking at their LinkedIn profile beforehand and jotting down some relevant questions. Pay for their coffee and respect their time by keeping it under an hour.
·        Take time to nurture relationships and make a commitment to go outside your comfort zone to get to know new people. It’s okay to talk about non-work related topics and this can even help you find things you have in common.
Keep it Professional or Private
Potential employers will likely search your online presence and don’t want to see your drunk tweets. Take time to clean up your online presence.
·        Google your name and see what links and photos come up. Clean up the less than flattering content.
·        Make your social media platforms private if you have any questionable content.
·        Be aware of how you carry yourself online and try to keep it professional as much as possible.
Be Proud of Your Work
Humility is an admirable trait, except when it comes to job interviews and portfolios.
·        Keep track of your successful projects, campaigns, and works by adding them to your LinkedIn or portfolio.
·        Maintain a personal website that showcases who you are as a PR Professional, your resume or skills, contact info and most importantly, your work samples or portfolio.
·        When chatting with others in the industry, it’s okay to give yourself some props and mention a successful campaign you managed. Mentioning an achievement once is not the same as bragging. Hogging the conversation and only talking about how great you are is bragging.
Have a Side Hustle
As a young professional, it can be hard to get the necessary experience. If you’re starting out, consider offering up your skills and expertise to small organizations or charities.
·        This is a great way to increase your portfolio, learn other skills, meet new people and increase your value to an employer
·        Reach out to local non-profits or small businesses and offer to write press releases, plan events, create graphics, help boost their social media presence, etc.
·        Be realistic about how much time you have to commit to a side hustle. Do you have the necessary time to help this organization on evenings and weekends?
·        Make sure it doesn’t interfere with your current position and your company allows it.
·        Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you have to work for free. Stand up for yourself and ask to be reasonably compensated.  

Wow, that was a lot. It’s okay not to do everything all at once and expect perfection. Don’t compare yourself to where other young professionals are in their career. Focus on improving yourself and learning new skills. Good luck on your journey and always be yourself!  
2017, april, blog, classpass, fitness, may, myblog, review

ClassPass

I wanted to start exercising this spring. When I was researching gyms to possibly join in Columbus, I stumbled upon ClassPass. I’d seen their Facebook Ads and wanted to learn more about them. The trial offer was a good deal and I was excited about the idea of trying new studios to consider joining. 
From April 17- May 17 I did ten various fitness classes in Columbus. At first I thought ten classes a month wouldn’t be enough but I later found it tough to squeeze in all ten classes into my busy schedule.
I enjoyed ClassPass and would recommend it to those who like variety, new adventures and can afford it. 
There were times in classes when I just had to take a deep breath and laugh at myself. There’s always going to be people in a class who have done that routine or those moves for years and are way better than you. That’s okay. I liked trying new classes that I otherwise wouldn’t have booked. I also met some other nice girls, some of them also “ClassPass” like me. 

Here’s the fitness classes in Columbus I did and how I reviewed them: 

Fit Jump

Tue, 05/16
6:00 – 7:00 pm
1645 Gateway Cir, Grove City, OH, 43123

Did not like this class. It was boring and repetitive.  The instructor was a high school freshmen who kept looking at a printed out sheet of notes. She never corrected anyone’s form or said anything motivational. I could hardly hear her. We’d bounce for a minute, do push ups for a minute, then repeat. I found myself zoning out and counting down the minutes til the class was over. The instructor seemed to be doing the same. At one point, we did exercises on the ground and I could’ve done those at home myself. I wanted to do exercises on the trampolines or in the ball pit. This class was disappointing.  

Intro to Aerial Silks

Mon, 05/15
6:00 – 7:30 pm
1411 W 3rd Ave, Columbus, OH, 43212

I thought I wouldn’t enjoy this class but I actually did. It was easier than pole dancing but still required upper body strength. I was challenged and the instructor was willing to help. She was so patient and kind. That made all the difference. I was amazed at what I was able to do. I wouldn’t mind taking this class again. I was a bit sore the next day. 

Barre in the Village

Mon, 5/8
6:00 – 7:00 pm
503 City Park Ave, Columbus, OH, 43215
This wasn’t my favorite class. I felt very cramped and close to my neighbor. I couldn’t extend my legs or arms all the way without hitting her. Throughout class, I wasn’t sure if I was doing any of the moves right. The instructor was loud and friendly. She introduced herself by asking me if I had any injuries. Um, no. If I did, I’d let you know. My arms felt sore the next day so I guess it was a good workout.

SpinFlex60

Sun, 5/7
5:15 – 6:15 pm
6367 Sawmill Rd, Dublin, OH, 43017
This was a great workout and I liked the variety and loved the instructor. She was really down-to-earth, motivational and offered modifications and corrections. It’s a very nice studio, right by Trader Joes. I would go back and definitely take classes from Sarah again. She was fantastic.

Barre7

Thu, 5/4
6:00 – 7:00 pm
275 S 3rd St, Columbus, OH, 43215
Julie is the best instructor I’ve ever had. It was a great workout. I wish I could give it six stars! She’s so inspirational and filled with knowledge. It was a challenging yet achievable workout. Highly recommend this class to everyone.

Fit Jump

Mon, 5/1
7:00 – 8:00 pm
3967 Presidential Pkwy, Powell, OH, 43065
It was a tough but fun workout. I couldn’t help but smile when we were bouncing on the trampoline but then that smile faded when we started doing suicides, frog legs, push ups, etc. I worked up quite a sweat. The instructor is tough but fair. I wish she had explained how exactly to do some of the more tricky moves. The class was small with just me and 5 “regulars”

Zumba

Fri, 4/28
6:30 – 7:15 pm
640 Lakeview Plaza Blvd, Suite A, Columbus, OH, 43085
Not super intense, but a great way to blow off some steam. Had a good time 

Beginner Pole

Wed, 4/26
7:45 – 8:45 pm
3408 Indianola Ave, Columbus, OH, 43214
I left class feeling frustrated. The class was labeled Beginner but the majority of the class had been dancing for years/ had their own pole in their basement/ could do spinning pole dancing. Everyone else in the class got the hang of it instantly. The instructor, Devon, gave up on me after awkwardly trying to help me twice. It wasn’t much of a workout and the pole was crazy slippery. Only take this class if you can do a few pull ups and have great upper body strength. And wear shorts. You can’t do the class in yoga capri pants. You have to wear shorts. Even though their website says you can wear yoga pants. Don’t.

Hydro Power Jam

Mon, 4/24
7:00 – 8:00 pm
3111 Hayden Rd, Columbus, OH, 43235
Laura is a really nice instructor. The workout wasn’t the most intense. I wanted it to be more challenging. There were a lot of older women in the group and some of them seem more focused on gossiping than doing the moves. Sawmill has a nice pool, locker room, hot tub and sauna.

Dance Mixx

Fri, 4/21
6:00 – 7:00 pm
1145 Kenny Centre Mall, Columbus, OH, 43220
The staff is really friendly and welcoming. The instructor came over and introduced herself and explained how the class would go. I liked the music and the dance moves. The instructor was so upbeat and motivating. It was a good workout.

And that’s all I have to say about my experience with a one-month trial of ClassPass in Columbus. 
2017, debbie, images, may, social media, work sample

Hidden Creek social media posts

These are some potential social media posts I created for Hidden Creek Landscaping. 
My Advice: 
-Be Humorous 
Don’t shy away from puns and plant-humor 
– Add a Call-to-Action to the employee recognition posts
“Comment below if you’ve had the pleasure of working with any of these great employees” 
Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 5.25.03 PM.png
Finally we are almost done with worrying about frost. The crocuses are popping up. Can’t wait to welcome spring! #firstdayofspring #march20
Important Question We Need to Ask: If a plant is sad, do other plants photosympathize with it? #planthumor #lol
Plants grow from a combination of water, sunlight and food. Hidden Creek Landscaping grows from reading your feedback. Please take a moment to review us today! http://ow.ly/5BeU306hEbe
When you do good work, you’re proud of it. Using our landscape expertise, we  crafted a personalized and pristine space for The Palmer House, right over in New Albany. See what we can do for you today! http://ow.ly/7V9E307PsYH 
Want to join our great team? We currently have openings for our landscape installation and landscape management divisions. #joinourteam #jobopening To see job openings visit: http://ow.ly/5riM307Pwei 
Want to beautify your property without breaking open the piggy bank? Hidden Creek Landscape is the solution. Our residential landscaping services will make your neighbors green with envy
All content created by and property of Debbie Gillum. All rights reserved
2017, Baking, blog, cookies, debbie, may, myblog, recipe

Cookie de Tacos

Happy Cinco de Mayo! 
I celebrated by creating these adorable cookie tacos for a surprise birthday party for one of Nate’s friends. 
Colorful Cookie Tacos
This type of plate helped the tacos stay upright 
Ingredients:
Golden Oreos
Sprinkles
Chocolate Frosting 
Food Coloring (green, yellow, red)
Coconut flakes (I used unsweetened) 
Instructions: 
  1. Using the food coloring, dye the coconut flakes a green (lettuce) or an orange-yellow color (cheese) I used shot glasses to stir the food coloring into the coconut flakes. 
  2. Remove the top part of the Oreo and remove the inner frosting (My frosting disappeared into my mouth…) 
  3. Carefully cut in half the Oreo cookie. Sometimes I just broke it apart and other times I used a knife in a sawing motion. 
  4. Put the two half pieces together in your hand and add a spoonful of chocolate frosting 
  5. Dip it into sprinkles and colored coconut toppings 
After the first couple, I had a nice assembly line going and it wasn’t too labor intensive. 
My work station 
I saw this on Pinterest and wanted to try to make it myself
2017, blog, debbie, may, myblog

It’s me, blog. Been a while.

I don’t know if I can even call myself a blogger anymore because this “blog” has been nothing but dust and tumbleweeds. Ugh, I hope this isn’t one of those “Heyyyy guys srry I fell off the face of the earth” blog posts.

I’ve been living IRL and leaving reviews of Columbus places I’ve been to on Yelp.  Most recently, I wrote about The Eagle and Tea Zone Bakery and Cafe.

My roommate and I got a cat. So that’s what I’ve been up to right meow. Get it?

Plumpkin’s Photo Booth session

I’ve been staying busy with my new job at Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio, which I love. I’m doing a lot of fun and impactful work that I sincerely enjoy.

I’m also helping Last Call Trivia with their marketing strategy and social media. I’ve been writing blog posts and social media strategy for them.

I’m volunteering as a Committee Member for the Activities Village for The Columbus Arts Festival in June. I volunteered last year and liked it so I thought I’d take the leap and join a committee.

I traveled to Michigan and Tennessee with my boyfriend Nate. Can you say fun? I love spending time with him and exploring new places together.

I joined ClassPass as a one month trial and have been going to fitness classes 2-3 times a week all over town. It’s been fun trying new styles of fitness classes like water aerobics, jazzercise, trampoline fitness, barre, and zumba.

I’m going to be a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding in September. I bought my dress and so now I’m looking for shoes.

On the weekends, I work at the Pet Wellness Vet clinic, filling out paperwork, restraining animals, as well as talking to customers about dog and cat vaccinations and medicine.  It can get pretty hectic sometimes and my background isn’t in veterinary medicine so people will often ask me questions I have to admit I don’t know the answer to and ask a co-worker for help. I also make Facebook posts and events for the clinic. It’s pretty fun to “research” cute dog videos to post.
Furthermore, I launched Pet Wellness Vet’s new website.  It’s based on WordPress so it’s easy to update.

TBH mostly I’ve been hanging out with Fiona. 

And that’s about all I have to say about that.

2015, may, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews, westerville

8th-grader reads circles around librarian, classmates

From ThisWeek News Westerville News and Public Opinion 

Read it also on ThisWeekNews.com

Wednesday May 27, 2015 2:17 PM

Some students read a book for fun every now and then. Others read only those books assigned by their teachers at school.
And then, there are the students who read at least a book a day. Really.
Gabby Freshly, just finishing her eighth-grade year at Blendon Middle School, earned an astonishing 2,053 Accelerated Reader points for the 2014-15 school year. For her three-year career at Blendon, she earned a total of 5,441 AR points.
To put that number into perspective, reading the classic novel Charlotte’s Web and achieving the highest possible results after testing about its content, is worth just five AR points.
Gabby just completed the equivalent of reading Charlotte’s Web every day, for the last three consecutive school years.
Gabby’s mom, Jenny Freshly, is an English teacher, and said her daughter’s love of reading started when she was just 13 months old and she discovered a National Geographic article about bald eagles.
“She was just fascinated by that article and wanted to completely understand it,” Jenny said. “I read to her as a child but pretty quickly she began to outpace me and started to just read on her own.”
Today, Freshly said, she is still amazed at how “incredibly quickly” her daughter reads. She estimates Gabby reads about a book a day.
“When she was in sixth grade, I remember a teacher telling me at a parent-teacher conference that she was concerned by how much Gabby was reading,” she said. “She’d sit down before class and whip out a book and start reading.”
Even at home, Freshly has to remind Gabby not to read at the dinner table.
However, by no means is Gabby just a bookworm. During her just-concluded years at Blendon, she competed for the school’s Battle of the Books team (of course), and also was involved in Mock Trial, student council and played soccer.
Gabby said she prefers to read science-fiction, fantasy, dystopian and historical fiction books.
The AR program encourages students to read a variety of books, including fiction as well as nonfiction.
Blendon school librarian Karen Yingling was a friend and mentor through the pages of three years at Blendon, Gabby said.
“Mrs. Yingling got me hooked on historical fiction and she gave me some good nonfiction books to read. Usually I don’t like nonfiction books,” she said.
“I want students to love what they read and I was happy to recommend new books to Gabby,” said Yingling.
Gabby said her favorite author is J.K. Rowling and her favorite book series was Rowling’s Harry Potterbecause “It’s really well-written and there’s a lot of action.”
“Reading is just fun. I get to do things I wouldn’t normally be able to do,” she said.
Before she even started sixth grade, Gabby asked Yingling if she could be a library helper, and she served as a library helper all throughout her time at Blendon.
“She’s very self-motivated and was willing to step up to any challenge,” said Yingling.
Gabby read for enjoyment and for comprehension so she would be able to answer the fact-based multiple choice questions on the AR tests.
Just for fun, Yingling did the AR program with the Blendon students this year and earned 400 points.
At the end of the school year, more than 21 students also earned 400 or more AR points and were recognized at a special assembly.
Gabby said she will continue her voracious reading when she attends Westerville South High School beginning this fall, even though she will no longer be striving to earn AR points.
“She reads because she likes to read, not for the points,” said Freshly.
Yingling said that Gabby will definitely be missed in the library.
“It’s not often that you find a reading kindred spirit like that,” she said.
johnstown, johnstownvillage, may, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews

Village officials says water shutoffs expensive, preventable

By DEBBIE GILLUMSunday May 31, 2015 2:15 PM
Johnstown Village officials said they have seen a recent increase in nonpayment of water service bills which are costly to the village.
They also said they believe the service shutoffs are preventable.
Village Service Director Jack Liggett said three village employees were required to shut off water services for 57 customers because of lack of payment. He said the shutoffs ate up 30 manhours.
Liggett explained in winter months water shutoffs were especially labor intensive because workers had to plow paths through snow in order to be able to access shut off valves.
“What I don’t understand is that within three hours of their water being shut off, they call us and suddenly have found the money,” Liggett said.
He said during most months the village performs about 45-55 water shutoffs. The village has 1,800 water-sewer service customers.
“I’ve even seen up to 80 shutoffs in a month,” Liggett said.
“I would love to see just 10-12 shutoffs each month,” he said. “In the end, it costs both the townspeople and the village quite a bit of money to do all of these shutoffs.”
Clerk of Council Teresa Monroe said processing paperwork for all 57 shutoffs in the month of April took her approximately 16 hours.
She explained it takes time and manpower to generate the delinquent reports, submit the termination work orders and calculate penalty costs.
A charge of $25 is issued for turning water service back on, in addition to a 10-percent penalty fee for late payment.
Monroe said if citizens call the utility billing office before the date when service will be shut off, the village is able to offer a seven-day grace period.
“A simple phone call to us could save folks $25 and the hassle of coming home to find there’s no water,” she said.
According to the village’s charter Section 921.10, persons requesting an extension can only do so six times in one calendar year.
The charter also states all bills are to be mailed out to residents by the 10th day of the month. Monroe said the village tries to send them by the third day of the month.
Customers whose bills are not paid on or before the 25th day of each month are sent a delinquent notice no later than the second Friday of the month following the bill due date.
If a water-sewer bill is not paid by the due date after receipt of the delinquent notice the service location is placed on a shutoff list.
Water service will only be turned on between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. week days..
Upon approval of Village Manager Jim Lenner, if a customer requests water service be turned on outside of the designated hours, the customer will be required to pay the Utility Department an additional fee of $125 before service will be reconnected.
Water utility bills can be paid online, in cash or by check. The Utility Department billing office phone number is 740-967-5951.