A Look at Ariel Publicity, by Samantha Hilsenrod

30 Mar

Headquartered in Brooklyn, Ariel Publicity provides clients with cyber public relations services. Primarily representing musical artists, this firm understands the importance of using the Internet to spread the word about products and individuals. Along with developing a strong social media presence, this online-exclusive public relations company books the people who hire it on podcasts, blogs, and Internet radio stations. Moreover, Ariel Publicity develops virtual press kits containing pertinent information about the artist, as well as free mp3s, that it sends to numerous websites. Some of its clients have been featured on Billboard.com, All Media, and other popular pages.

Ariel Publicity understands the benefits of online publicity in reaching the right customers. Rather than trying to connect with everyone, the Internet makes it possible to target materials to those persons most likely to be interested in the service. This leads to enhanced cost effectiveness and better hit results.

About the Author:

A graduate of Tulane University, Samantha Hilsenrod earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Spanish. During one of her summers while in college, Hilsenrod interned with Ariel Publicity where she started public relations campaigns and created virtual press kits for its clients.

Samantha Hilsenrod: A Brief Overview of St. Martin’s Press

9 Feb

A recent graduate of New Orleans’ Tulane University, Samantha Hilsenrod majored in communications and Spanish. Following her junior year, Ms. Hilsenrod interned at St. Martin’s Press in its Minotaur division in New York.

St. Martin’s Press began 60 years ago in the United Kingdom. Today, the company operates as a subsidiary of Macmillan in New York’s Flat Iron Building. St. Martin’s Press focuses on new and emerging authors and publishes a diverse collection of works.

The company annually publishes more than 800 volumes under multiple imprints, including Thomas Dunne Books, Minotaur, St. Martin’s Griffin, and St. Martin’s Press. Thomas Dunne books encompass the categories of non-fiction, mainstream fiction, and suspense. Minotaur includes thrillers, mystery, and suspense. St. Martin’s Griffin issues mainstream paperbacks in the romance, science fiction, and young adult genres. The St. Martin’s Press imprint appears on volumes of non-fiction bestsellers and popular fiction. Due to the large amount of books that St. Martin’s Press releases annually, the publisher ranks among the largest of America’s publishing houses.

The Mayanot Birthright Israel Program and Tulane University’s Chabad Community, by Samantha Hilsenrod (2/2)

30 Jan

Overseen by Tulane University’s Chabad Jewish community, the Mayanot Birthright Israel Program appealed to me in part because the organizers opt to focus on Israel’s history and modern day culture. Rather than forcing a specific religious perspective on students like myself who enroll in the program, the Chabad strongly encourage all Birthright participants to delve into Jewish spirituality however they see fit. Additionally, the staff directing the Mayanot Birthright Israel Program goes above and beyond when it comes to securing high quality hotel accommodations, also making certain that students partake in the best of Israeli cuisine. Mayanot is a non-profit organization, therefore all funds allotted for the Israel trip go toward creating a superb and unforgettable vacation.

Aside from funding and leading the Mayanot Birthright Israel Program, the Chabad work hard to support the needs of Tulane University’s Jewish population. The linguistic term Chabad is actually an acronym derived from the underlying principles that inform religious faction’s mission. The word Chachmah translates as wisdom, followed by Binah (understanding), and Daas (knowledge). In a nutshell, the Chabad aim to actionably foster Jewish culture in every fashion possible, accomplishing this goal through Friday night Shabbat services and dinners open to all, educational classes held at the school’s Chabad House, celebrations of major Jewish holidays, and social gatherings on campus or out on the town in New Orleans.

About the author:

Presently majoring in Spanish and communications at Tulane University, Samantha Hilsenrod plans to graduate in May of 2012. Over the course of her tenure at Tulane, Ms. Hilsenrod has assisted in establishing the Delta Chapter of Phi Mu, a sorority that channels its resources toward philanthropic endeavors that markedly benefit the local community. Since enrolling at Tulane, Ms. Hilsenrod has raised money for the Second Harvest Food Bank and the Children’s Hospital, New Orleans. Moreover, she volunteers for the Gulf Restoration Network, juggling a busy schedule that requires her to balance a rigorous academic course load with an off-campus job. In her spare time, Samantha Hilsenrod takes movement classes at the university’s Department of Theatre and Dance.

Samantha Hilsenrod Discusses Tulane University

11 Jan

Located in New Orleans, Tulane University has educated students since 1834. Originally founded as the Medical College of Louisiana, Tulane University merged with the University of Louisiana in 1847. Four decades later, the state’s legislature officially recognized it as Tulane University, a private institution.

Today, Tulane University serves as the educational home to more than 13,000 students. The school’s 8,000 undergraduates concentrate on fields such as architecture, business, public health and tropical medicine, and social sciences. Its humanities and fine arts programs features majors and minors including journalism, musical composition, jazz studies, and art studio. Those seeking an advanced degree can enroll in the institution’s master’s and doctoral programs at its School of Science and Engineering, School of Law, and School of Social Work, among other facilities.

About the Author:

The recipient of a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Spanish from Tulane University, Samantha Hilsenrod received merit-based scholarships during her four years as an undergraduate. A member of Chabad and Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, Hilsenrod also took dance classes at the school.

Pros and Cons of Different Press Kit Formats, by Samantha Hilsenrod

2 Jan

Depending on your promotional needs and the type of organization involved, different press kit formats may be more effective than others. The goal of a press kit is to generate positive references in the media, so choosing the right format is a critical aspect.

Online Press Kit

By far the most common format today, online press kits have a number of clear advantages. For one, they are cheap to distribute: just e-mail the press kit URL to the intended recipients; no need to print materials and distribute them by mail. In addition, many journalists appreciate online press kits that allow them to download important materials instantly. Especially for photo-heavy journalism, an online press kit makes a good choice.

The major disadvantage to this approach is also its strength: ease of distribution. Busy, in-demand individuals may not pay much attention to your online press kit unless they specifically request it. Similarly, if you have materials that should not be distributed widely, they are more vulnerable in an openly available digital press kit.

Flash Drive Press Kit

One popular alternative to the online press kit is a digital press kit embedded on a flash drive. This allows for the personalized delivery of the press kit, which can have a strong impact on the recipient. After all, receiving a press kit along with a handshake and a smile is more memorable than receiving an e-mail. In addition, the flash drive allows for the quick transmission of large quantities of media, such as videos or photos, which might be cumbersome to download.

One drawback of this approach is that flash drives are easy to lose. Another is that the recipient may not have all of the necessary software to access the information you have provided, so make sure to stick to the most common formats and standards available. Finally, when someone requests a press kit via phone or e-mail, an online version is much more expedient than a flash drive.

Paper Press Kit

Probably the most noteworthy benefit of the traditional paper press kit is that the recipient can look through it while you talk. For instance, at a trade show, a journalist may ask for a press kit, take a quick look, and then ask a few pertinent questions about your organization. Online and flash drive press kits make this process cumbersome, if not impossible. Therefore, it can still prove beneficial to have a paper version available.

The biggest drawback, of course, is the need to print high-quality, bulky materials that cannot be transferred to a digital medium. Paper press kits today are more for in-person communications; they are not ideal for sending to remote recipients who need to download media and quickly produce a story about you.

About Samantha: Samantha Hilsenrod, a junior at Tulane University, has interned with PR firms, putting together press kits and other promotional materials.

The Health Benefits of Dance By Samantha Hilsenrod

14 Dec

posted at shutterstock.com

I enjoy learning dance techniques not just for the pure enjoyment of the activity and the rich history that it represents, but also for the incredible health benefits that dancers enjoy. While most people would not immediately classify dance as a form of exercise, it has a wide-ranging impact on the body, increasing endurance and strength while developing flexibility and promoting better moods.

Dance places a large physical demand on the body, forcing muscles to execute precise movement over and over again. Many novice dancers find it difficult to practice for long periods of time without fatigue. With practice, the dancer’s muscles quickly gain endurance, especially with ballroom dancing and other form that require vigorous movements. Muscles also acquire strength as they begin to propel the dancer stronger and farther. Jazz and ballet force dancers to leap high and far, training their major leg muscles to exert the power necessary to execute such maneuvers. Male dancers must often lift their partners over their head and turn them, seemingly without effort. Such actions necessitate extraordinary muscle strength.

As with any aerobic exercise, dance also provides several benefits for the heart and cardiovascular system, offering protection against multiple diseases and building basic immunity.

Dance classes generally begin with stretching exercises, training the dancers’ muscles to extend further and promoting a fuller range of motion. Flexibility reduces an individual’s chance of injury, improves posture, and discourages soreness after exercising.

As a team form of exercise, dance increases self-esteem, confidence, and a basic feeling of self-empowerment. Through dance, individuals interact about a common passion, which reduces stress and reinforces senses of belonging and overall happiness.

I encourage everyone who has not done so already to take a dance class and experience its many cultural, social, and physical benefits.

The Mayanot Birthright Israel Program and Tulane University’s Chabad Community (1/2)

31 Aug

By Samantha Hilsenrod

As a student at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, I undertake a wide array of supplemental academic, social, and community service activities in conjunction to my everyday scholastic responsibilities. Suffice to say, these endeavors always prove worthwhile, often resulting in the formation of wonderful new friendships. In 2009, I had the opportunity to expand my understanding of Jewish culture and tradition as a participant in the Chabad Mayanot Birthright Israel Program. An incredibly fulfilling experience on multiple levels,  my involvement with the Chabad movement at home in the United States as well as in Israel has served as a foundation for exploring my personal spiritual beliefs and family heritage, a lifelong journey that I look forward to pursuing further.

During my visit to Israel with other members of Tulane University’s Jewish community, my peers and I employed our time in an enjoyable and intellectually edifying manner, simply relaxing and sightseeing on some days, while respectfully observing some of the most ancient facets of Judaism in practice on others. One particularly defining event of the Chabad Mayanot Israel Program that stood out for me was the Friday night our group spent at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Also referred to as the Wailing Wall or Kotel, the city’s Western Wall is situated in East Jerusalem’s Old Quarter, hulking in size despite the fact that more modern structures now engulf a large portion of the sacred artifact. Constructed from thick blocks of limestone, the Western Wall measures nearly 500 meters from end to end, its surface dotted with a multiplicity of tiny holes and crevices.

Upon close examination of these cracks, one will likely notice that many of the wall’s fissures contain folded pieces of paper, some still white, others yellowed with age. On these slips of paper, devout followers of numerous religions write down their prayers and lamentations, a physical rendering of faith with deep individual meaning for those who come to the Western Wall on a religious pilgrimage. As a communications major, I was pleased to discover that a free service now exists that enables people to Twitter their prayers, the digital messages then converted into print and inserted into the wall itself.

The Mayanot Birthright Israel Program and Tulane University’s Chabad Community, by Samantha Hilsenrod Part 2 – Published on BigSight