Blogging: A great tool for a public relations professional

Posted in Uncategorized on July 16, 2010 by vcsubha

Before January 2010, no one could  convince me to join Facebook or twitter. I received a few LinkedIn” invites,” and I sent them to trash immediately. After joining the Corporate Communications and Public Relations Program, I realized that we would learn about these social media tools thoroughly in the OnlinePR course. The only thing that excited me about the course was blogging and nothing else.

Now I’m  at the door step of my field placement. In an interview for my field placement, the interviewer asked me what part of Communications and Public Relations interested me the most, and without thinking for a second I answered, OnlinePR. I surprised myself and realized that I enjoy all aspects of onlinePR and find them very beneficial to a career in the public relations. However, if I have to pick one element of onlinePr that I find most beneficial to the careers in public relations, it has to be blogging.

 I have always enjoyed reading blogs from the time I laid my eyes on a very informative and motivational blog, lifehack.org. Through the OnlinePR course,  I learned more about blogging and its techniques. Blogs are  valuable tools in the ever-growing  trend of online public relations .

 Some of the benefits of blogging I found are:

  • Blogging encourages you to write on a regular basis and helps you to improve your writing skills and creativity, the essential qualities of a PR professional.
  • In order for you to be an effective writer, you need to be an avid reader. Blogs let you keep up your reading habits and keep you up-to-date with the current issues in the society.
  • A good blogger researches a lot before writing an article. So, you keep up with your research skills too. Research is a key component in the public relations profession.
  • A blog can be a beneficial tool to reach key audiences. When a blog is written effectively and updated frequently, it becomes an efficient  tool to reach the key audiences at no cost.  
  • As a small business entrepreneur myself, I see the benefits of blogging to small businesses. A blog can be an inexpensive and instant outlet  through which you can build your reputation as an expert in your field of specialization  and be visible to your target audiences. It also builds your network with your clients and fellow professionals by linking them on your blog and sharing comments with them.
  • It is easy to set up and it distinguishes you from your competitors in the field of public relations.

In the past few months of blogging, I read a lot, wrote a lot and researched  a lot which are all important skills for a public relations professional.

 Journalists and editors read blogs on a regular basis. To succeed in a career in public relations, you need to learn blogging and its techniques because old style public relations is fast fading.  Blogging is the new trend in public relations.

Four interesting WordPress blogs

Posted in Blogs with tags , , , , on July 6, 2010 by vcsubha

After I started blogging through WordPress, I searched the web looking for popular WordPress blogs and below is what I found. The topics range from Facebook to fashion. Here are my four favorite WordPress blogs.

1. Cute Overload…..awwwwwwwwww

If you are a pet lover or just want to enjoy some cute, cuddly animals, visit this blog, subscribe to their RSS feeds or simply add it to your Google reader and get your daily dose of cuddliness (is this even a word?). It has some of the best “cute ” imagery on the web.

2.Wordpress.com news

If you are like me looking for some WordPress tips, trends and tricks, check out this website. It  has an online  community where you can share ideas and get tips for some of the annoyances of using WordPress. They update the blog on a daily basis.

3. TechCrunch

If you are looking for a new iPhone 4 review or simply looking for trends in technology, visit this technology blog. At TechCrunch, a group of technology professionals gather, profile and review internet products and companies.

4. This just in

This is a CNN news blog sharing news from a blogger’s perspective. It has real-time breaking news on twitter @cnnbrk. Their intriguing people category is very interesting. Through this, I found out that Obama has the highest Facebook fans as of now, 9,058,881 fans and Lady Gaga is the next with 9,023,966 fans. Of course, the highest is still Michael Jackson with 13,285,811 fans.

5 gift ideas for social media fans

Posted in Uncategorized on June 30, 2010 by vcsubha

All of us have some one we love and we shop for the best gift possible for their birthdays, Christmases, anniversaries etc, etc. Also, many of us have some one in our lives who are either Facebook fans, Twitter fans or YouTube fans. So, instead of giving your mom another vase, or your sister another pair of earrings, or even to your little brother, a board game (do the kids play board games in this Wii era?), try something different. Since my daughter’s birthday is coming real soon, I brainstormed for good gifts and did some  gift shopping online.

 Ok ! seriously! I have not gone mad. I found some very “interesting” gifts online for die-hard fans and not so die-hard fans of social media. Here they are:

1. Facebook Told Me Note Cards – Set of 5 – for your mom? 

The set includes 5 Facebook Told Me note cards and 5 envelopes(you can choose your color). Each card set is hand cut, folded and rounded.  These are sold online on etsy, where people make and sell things and also buy things online. The buyers and sellers come from over 150 countries.

 

2. Craftsquatch- Social Media and Icon Pillows! – for your daughter, little brother or sister?

These are hand-made pillows from Craftsquatch on Etsy . Is it cute overload or what?

3. “I Have Enough Friends, I Want Followers!” apron – for your wanna-be-super-chef friend?

These are machine-washable fun aprons from zazzle

4.Social Media Scientist Wall Clock – for your dad?

Consider gifting this interesting wall clock from Cafepress, a Canadian online store,  for a social media enthusiast for his office.

 5. Twitter Party Invitations – friend?

Here are some interesting invitations you can gift your sister so that she can show off by sending the one-of-a-kind of invitations for her next birthday party. These are from Zazzle store too.

5 FREE Yoga and Meditation podcasts for iPhone or iPod touch

Posted in Yoga with tags , , , , , on June 21, 2010 by vcsubha

I love Yoga as many of my friends know by now.

Top 5 reasons why I love Yoga are:

  • It reduces my day-to-day stress
  • It relaxes me at the end of the day
  • It gives me balance
  • It inspires me to eat healthy
  • It makes me feel proud to follow what my ancestors believed and followed

Here are my 5 favorite free yoga and meditation podcasts for iPhone or iPod touch.

1. 60-minute gentle level vinyasa

If you have an hour for a gentle level-1 Yoga workout, check out this podcast, narrated by Arlene Bjork from Grace Yoga. Arlene has practiced and taught Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, an intense Yoga workout, since 1997.

2. Guided relaxation to calm obsessive thoughts

It is a nine-minute podcast, part of “Meditation Station” series, which earned iTunes People’s Choice Award in 2006. In this podcast, Stan Hansen help you relax through guided relaxation techniques. Hansen is a fitness and mediatation expert.

3. Strengthen your core

This is a 21-minute core-strengthening Yoga work out by Kathryn Budig from yogajournal.com

4. Yoga for Weight loss

This is one of the 20-minute session series from yogadownload.com.

5.Detox Yoga # 2, Audio class

This is also one of the 20-minute session series from yogadownload.com.

Western influences on Indian Women’s apparel

Posted in Indo-Western Fashion with tags , , on June 5, 2010 by vcsubha

Halter tops, bejewelled tank tops, handkerchief-cut kurtas …yes, I’m talking about the Western influence on Indian women’s fashion or simply, Indian clothing going Western.  India is a good example of unity in diversity, with its 28 states and seven union territories and 18 major languages spoken with over 1600 dialects. Hence, fashion fusion happens among the states, themselves. Now, with globalization, conventional sarees, salwars kameezes, saree blouses, lehengas and even necklines are undergoing dramatic changes. The current trend in Indian fashion is fusion wear – adding a Western touch to the traditional Indian wear. Designers are joining the bandwagon, eager to meet the new demand.

Let’s see some Western-influences on Indian women’s clothing:

1. The Kurti: Traditional long kurtis/kurtas with bold prints and full/half sleeves have evolved into short-styled kurtis, with halter necklines or spaghetti straps. Traditionally, kurtis are worn as part of a set, along with chudidaar (pants) and chunni (scarf). Today, the celebrity and the girl-next-door wear the kurti over jeans or even leggings.

Left: Indian dupatta from behind the veil, southdreamz.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Right: Kurtee designs, only4she.com
 

2. The Lehenga: Traditional embroidered lehengas have evolved into more casual crinkled crepe skirts, A-lined skirts, which are considered perfectly suitable for a party, an informal meeting or a casual social gathering.

Left: Katrina Kaif, Indian Actress, indiaoriginals.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Right: Crepe Sequined skirt, casuallivingusa.com

3. The Saree Blouse: Traditionally, a blouse (the one shown below) is worn along with a Saree. Once short-sleeved or even long-sleeved blouses have evolved to ones with straps and halter neck styles.

Left: Raima Sen, getahead.rediff.com
Right:  Actress Jacqueline Fernandez, highheelconfidential.com
 

Hello world!

Posted in Indian food, Indo-Western fusion food with tags , , on May 27, 2010 by vcsubha

Hello! Welcome to my blog world.  

On my trips to India, I see a McDonald’s and Pizza hut at every city center. I see English music in  every teen’s CD collection. I see youth wearing jeans and shirts in the place of traditional Indian attire, Salwar kameez. I see women replacing scented candles for traditional agarbathi (incense sticks). On the flip side, in Toronto, I see samosas and Indian parathas in demand. At Sears, I see Indian kurtis (tunics) on the racks. At Ikea, Indian lanterns  are a current decor item. In addition, Yoga, which originated in India 26,000 years ago, is revered and practiced widely in North America. In fact, according to a “Yoga in America” market study, 15.8 million people in U.S practice yoga.

Great! World is becoming smaller. Food, fashion, home decor are global now.

This paved my way for creating this blog, Indo-West Inspired, a blog about Indo-Western food, fashion, home decor.

I’ll share with you a variety of easy-to-make, Indian-inspired Western recipes that contain a variety of Indian spices. As I publish the recipes, I’ll share the health benefits of the spices included in the recipe as well.

Following is one of my own, my favorite recipe that can be called a chutney/relish/spread.

Let’s see! What is chutney?

Chutney is a mixture of vegetables/fruit, spices and sugar. It can be made either smooth or chunky and can be eaten with rice, roti, bread or even served with cheese.

RED BELL PEPPER CHUTNEY 

This chutney combines flavors of red bell peppers and a mixture of condiments. It can be made in advance and preserved in the refrigerator for one week.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes 

Ingredients

Red Bell Peppers (chopped): 2

Garlic: 2 cloves

Cilantro: few sprigs

Green chilies/jalapenos: 1

Cumin (roasted): 1 tsp

Coriander seeds (roasted): 1 tsp

Olive oil: 1 tsp

Salt, lemon juice, sugar (to taste)

Method:

  • Roast chopped red peppers for 10 minutes. The skin on the peppers should blacken slightly.
  • Toast Cumin and coriander seeds separately for two minutes in a dry sauté pan. Let it cool.
  • Add the dry spices to a grinder and grind till smooth.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and make it into a smooth/chunky paste.

Let’s see the health benefits of Cumin:

And health benefits of Coriander seeds are:

  • Coriander seeds are effective in reducing cholesterol levels, according to the OrganicFacts website The oils present in coriander seed makes it antiseptic, anti-histaminic and anti-carcinogenic.
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