Friday, July 10, 2009

Florida Vacation - Here We Come!

We are busy trying to get everything ready to leave for St. Augustine first thing in the morning. As you can tell, I am taking a break! Actually, I have my suitcase all packed, my beach bag packed with towels, the beach chairs out of the attic. I think I am down to just what I will have to pack after I get ready in the morning.

I still have a few chores to finish around the house - things like watering the plants, etc. Bill is out pulling weeds from the flower beds. He still has to do his packing. Fortunately, for the beach, there isn't much to pack! We will get the car mostly loaded tonight and then can take off whenever we wake up in the morning.

We didn't get to go last year - it was a tough year for the business plus Lisa was about to give birth to Ashby and we didn't want to risk not being here. I guess that is why we are all the more excited this year. We are expecting somewhere around 25 family members to be there. Lisa and David and Ashby are going, of course. This will be the first time they are renting their own condo, instead of sharing with us. Billy isn't able to come down from Iowa, so we will miss him.

Look out, Florida!!! Here we come!!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Little Public Affairs Success

We have had a success in our Public Affairs which I really needed. This is a hard calling, because there is so little structure. As Director, I have to keep everyone else motivated to be doing things and it can get discouraging.

But this has been a good one! The full-time missionaries serving in the Lilburn Ward met with my PA Specialist, Donna, assigned to that ward to discuss some ideas they had. They had just completed a service project in the city and had pictures printed in a local paper. They wanted to expand their scope, hoping to find people who would be interested in talking to them. Donna ran the ideas they had by me and I gave my approval to go with it.

After interviewing them some more, she wrote a draft of an article and sent it to me. I approved it and sent it on to my Media Assistant, Nikki, who edited it. We then sent it back to Donna to do the reworking. Donna also sent it to the mission president, President King, who lives in Lilburn Ward, also. His career had been related to public relations, so he was able to make some further edits that were very professional. He also included professional photos of the two missionaries involved.

With the article complete, we submitted it to all of our media contacts in the area. One is an online only paper, the Gwinnett Forum. The editor responded that he thought the article would make him feel like he was promoting a particular church and he was not comfortable printing it. However, he did like the pictures, so he printed them with a short paragraph with information he pulled from the original article. We were happy with that compromise.

Then we got a hit from the Gwinnett Citizen, a monthly paper that is available at various outlets throughout the county. They printed the article in its entirety, both in print and online, including the pictures. It was prominent on their Spiritual Page. We were excited about that success.

Then we discovered that had picked up the article from them. Mormontimes is an online paper, sort of like the Church News, with news about and related to the Church. It is read by a world-wide audience. They did a summary of the article in the Gwinnett Citizen and created a link to it.

What a great success! We figure that for every ten articles we submit, we get a hit on one. And when that hit comes, we are rewarded for all the hours of work we have put into it. I am really pleased with the individuals who worked to put this story together. It really is a matter of teamwork, since we are not professionals. None of us could do it alone.

Thanks to everyone who helped! We will keep working, hoping for our next success to happen sooner, rather than later.