Sunday, September 30, 2012

We've Moved to a New Website

Thank you for visiting. I have moved to a new website and blog: Ted Nguyen USA: Life's Short, so Live Big.

Please visit the new site for the latest on social media tools and strategies, travel, food and other posts that hopefully will move you.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy (Follow) Friday: Kristin and her Fabulous Cake

Happy Friday to everyone and a special "Follow Friday" to all those on Twitter. It's a Twitter tradition to recommend some of your own special followers to others in the fast-growing social media site.

My Follow Friday recommendation is to Kristin Slocum who works for Mobility 21 as the transportation advocacy group's communications manager. She is heading up some major initiatives and helping to transform the public face of transportation using both traditional and new media tools.

Aside from her stunning work as a visual communicator and public relations professional, Kristin and husband, Mike, will soon appear in a reality show of their own wedding on The Learning Channel's Fabulous Cakes.

Here is a little slice preview of the behind-the-scenes look at the making of their reality show set to air Aug. 2, featuring the centerpiece of any wedding celebration -- the fabulous cake.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Guest Blog: Lessons Learned as a PR Intern

I asked Elmira Karimzadeh, our intern at the Orange County Transportation Authority and recent graduate of Cal State Fullerton, to share her tips with other interns and their employees.

Elmira is an extraordinary professional -- mature and experienced beyond her years.

She is an active participant of our nationally recognized social media team and spoke on a Gov 2.0 panel with other regional and national experts on how to increase citizen engagement.

Check out this slideshow of her work with service dogs, her visit to Bravo's the Real Housewives of County and this audio interview interupted by reality show star Jeana Keough after an exclusive runway show with pop singer Livi Franc.


After hearing this audio interview with Elmira and checking out her six tips for a successful internship, please let us know what you think and share your own advice.


By Elmira Karimzadeh
Guest blogger  

My nearly two years at OCTA have confirmed my place in public relations.

Although school is valuable and necessary, hands-on experience is priceless. I have evolved from an intimidated third-year PR student to a confident young professional looking forward to my career in communications.

This rewarding journey has been challenging, thrilling and filled with lessons. These are my top six tips to maximize your internship.

1. Every successful writer has a great editor

When your boss critiques your writing, which is inevitable and eye-opening, pay attention. If you are attentive and ask the proper questions, the blood bath that has resulted from the overuse of red ink will mean more than just a bruised ego.

Learn from your mistakes, and be mindful of them with your next writing assignment.

2. Vary your writing -- don’t lose your creative edge
As a public relations professional, you’re a writer. At OCTA, I write a biweekly newsletter, press releases, facts sheets and advertorials, but I write on my off-time too.

Don’t allow your writing to become mechanical. A former professor once advised me not to limit myself to certain writing styles. Practice all writing styles- even those that are not relevant to your line of work.

I will never have to write a poem in my professional life, but that doesn’t stop me from doing so in my personal life.

3. Be proactive
A willingness to do extra work shows enthusiasm and positions you as a “go-getter.” When you have down-time at your internship, ask your supervisor or others in your department if there’s an assignment they need help with.

By asking for more work you showcase your abilities and kind gestures, of any caliber, will not be forgotten.

4. Read, read and read some more
Be informed on current events. Know the trending topics in public relations. Articles in main-stream and trade publications are filled with helpful advice.

Case studies are a useful way to learn from the mistake of others. Being well-versed isn’t just beneficial to you, but it makes for useful small talk with other professionals. It’s a networking icebreaker.

5. Network
Now that you’re caught-up on your morning read, put it to good use by participating in industry networking events.

Networking sessions are useful even if you’re not looking for an employment opportunity. It’s always good to meet other professionals who are contributing to public relations.

6. Continue learning
This next tip applies to life and public relations. Never close-off your mind to learning.

I’m a recent graduate and have much to learn about public relations, but I hope when I’m an experienced veteran – I’ll still be eager to learn about my field.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Next Food Stop: Xanh Bistro July 30

Here is a music slideshow of our next foodie gathering at Xanh Bistro, a little "green" gem on the edge of Little Saigon. It's appropriately located across from Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley.

The restaurant's name also is fitting because "xanh" means green in Vietnamese, and its gourmet food prepared by chef/owner Haley Nguyen blends the freshness of the Southeast Asian cruisine with refined western culinary techniques. Her desserts perfectly showcase her skills.

The lunch is part of our regular Orange County tweetups or better known as twEATup because the emphasis is gathering for good company and great food. The non-hosted event is open to all -- just bring money for your portion for lunch and be ready to share everything and anything that makes you care.

Please RSVP here and feel free to invite anyone for the noon lunchtime gathering for Friday, July 30 at Xanh Bistro, 16161 Brookhurst St. in Fountain Valley. Post any questions or comments on Twitter at the "hashtag" of #OCtwEATup or post them to the blog.

Many of the photos are courtesy of Megan Enloe, a social media consultant and all-around wonderful person who cares about good people and of course good food. And here are some additional links for Xanh Bistro and Yelp reviews.

Live to Eat: Culinary Adventures

Live to Eat: Culinary Adventures

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Celebrating the World's First Social Media Day

I waited until one minute after midnight to post this blog and to shout: "Happy Social Media Day, Wednesday, June 30!"

It's the first global Social Media Day. Followed only by New York City, a gathering in Orange County, Calif. is expected to be the second largest in the U.S. and the fifth largest in the world.
The unique effort by the social media and blogging website Mashable has helped organize approximately 450 "meet-ups" or "tweet-ups" in 74 countries to celebrate the new social world we all now live and work in.
Approximately 300 people are expected to converge upon the Orange County Register's headquarters along with some of Southern California's foremost social media experts who are speaking at 625 N. Grand Ave. in Santa Ana, Calif. from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Pacific time)
Speakers and participants include Rochelle Veturis, Jonathan Lansner, Kevin Sablan, Kristin Slocum (who appear in this iReport) as well as Nancy Luna, Dustin Luther, Robert Watson, Morgan Brown, Bryan Elliott, Jim Marks and others. See this link for the full schedule of the afternoon's activities. 
And check out this audioBoo interview of some of the participants sharing a preview of the special opportunity to cultivate new tools and friendships as well as enjoy some great grub. 

Thanks to Nancy Luna of the wildly popular Fast Food Maven blog, Twitter- fueled mobile trucks are serving food in the front lot for the first-of-its-kind gathering of social geeks -- Taco Dawg, Piaggio On Wheels, Calbi, Oh For Sweets Sake and Tropical Shave Ice.
Participants are using the hashtag of #SMdayOC to keep track of the live tweets for the social media event.
Happy Social Media Day -- June 30! But we have a feeling that every day is social media day because these high-tech tools are now integrated into our daily personal and work lives. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Prezi Preview for Social Media Day

I'm presenting on national Social Media Day Wednesday, June 30. Hundreds of social media newbies to veterans will converge upon the Orange County Register to learn new tips or further refine their new media tools.

I'm using a cool new tool to display my 10-minute tips on using social media in crisis communications and issues management to hopefully avoid a decade's worth of disaster.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Picture-Perfect Protos: Honoring the Best of PR

I'm a highly competitive person.

And throughout my nearly 20-year career in public relations and communications, I've submitted case studies on projects that not performed exceedingly well in the business world, but also had to meet the highest levels of documented success of the four cornerstones of effective PR -- research, planning, implementation and evaluation.

Watch an interview with John Wayne Airport Spokeswoman Jenny Wedge on the significance of the awards program.

And you can hear an audioBoo interview with PR university students attending the prestigious event for the first time.


This year was no exception as we prepared entries for the annual Protos Awards for the Orange County Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. But it was a bit different this year. As soon I stepped into the Surf and Sand Resort Hotel in Laguna Beach Friday evening, I knew it was unique.

The regular competitive edge was replaced with friendly smiles and a celebratory note. We were gathered to honor the achievements of our industry. And it was especially meaningful in the current economic recession where harsh financial realities forced all of us to do more with less.

The event emcee, Ric Romero, consumer reporter for ABC7 news, joined veterans in the profession to  pay tribute to award winners in numerous categories and to recognize area university PR students -- Alicia Guiterrez of Cal State Long Beach, Jennifer Nguyen of Cal State Fullerton and Amy Chase of Chapman University -- as Shining Star Scholarship recipients.

As you can see from the above music slideshow, we were among the many honored for our behind-the-scenes dedicated work on behalf of our organization or clients. We took home awards for every one of the entries we submitted, including the only two prizes for social media programs and one for our interactive transportation-focused e-newsletter.

But the highlight of the night was sitting next to and chatting with a PR legend -- John van Barneveld of Public Communications Worldwide -- who won both the Distinguished Service Award for Individual and for Organization. See the video interview taken with my new iPhone 4 with the father-daughter Barneveld team and the TV journalist.

As the night progressed, I found myself cheering for every winner. It wasn't about who collected the most hardware, but a celebration of how much we have progressed as an industry.

The event was special because of the passion of a handful of PR professionals. Please join me in thanking Protos Chairwoman Ricca Silverio of Bock Communicatons and her hard-working team of:

Nicole Hoperich, NDH Creative
Mairim Martinez, Integrated MarketingWorks
Julia Meza, Integrated MarketingWorks

Jocelle Untalan

Laura Figge, Pacific Communications
Rachel Smith, GolinHarris

Teri Sawyer, T&Co.
John Tomaszewski, Marketwire

Jenny Corsey, Westbound Communications
Alexis Linn, GolinHarris

Kate Mossbarger, Global Results Communications
Julie Murphy, Kia

Barbara Ruelas, Global Results Communications

Jill Cagle, Building Industry Association
Courtney Day
Anne McNulty
Molly Smith, PRSSA, Cal State Fullerton

Did you attend the event or experience it via live tweets? What did you think about the event and the recipients of the Protos honors?

I also welcome your thoughts about the future of the PR industry in our fast-changing world of real-time information.