Inspiration Launchpad: Face-to-Face Edition

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After 18+ months it is pretty amazing to be face-to-face with my students. It’s exhausting but amazing.

This term, I’m teaching a PR writing class that includes a term-long blogging assignment. Students pick topics, set up blogs and prep to write between 10 and 14 posts between now and the first week of December. Each week, I find a handful of posts and news items from around the web that have caught my eye, made me think or that I think are worth a read for the students in my class. This is my first inspiration launchpad list — designed for students to use for inspiration on their own blogs to launch their own take on their own blogs.

Facebook to add new Instagram safety features for children | NPR — Too little, too late? Facebook is facing an onslaught of issues related to a whistleblower’s claims, including that it’s ignoring safety in favor of profits.

How The PR Industry Can Help Tackle Vaccine Hesitancy | Provoke Media — Some perspective on what the PR industry could offer public health communications. Let’s be honest, the communication so far hasn’t been great (appearing inconsistent, contradictory, etc.) and it’s just been compounded by politics. What do you think?

Richard Blumenthal’s finsta question to Facebook: Actually, it was good. | Slate — Politicians are notorious for asking tech people really (really) dumb questions. But Slate argues Senator Blumenthal’s line of questioning in this hearing was actually good — and important.

Black Hair, Red Carpet: How the Push for Representation Is Reshaping Beauty in Hollywood and Beyond | Vanity Fair — I love the focus on representation and how and why that matters. It has to be an intentional and thoughtful process. This is a little longer read, but for those interested in consumer-facing product PR, it’s important.

How wildlife sightings create community (Sightings) | High Country News – I grew up in a small town and I understand where the author is coming from. Relationships in small towns are the glue of life, but can you be connected while still remaining true to your values?

What Does It Actually Mean When a Company Says, “We Do Not Sell Your Data”? | The Markup — Frankly, not much. But this is a great read to get literate about your privacy online. How do you think this affects brands who “need” your data for marketing purposes?

The NFL’s Empathy Gap | The Ringer — Another good, long read about the empathy problems in the NFL. I remember watching the Aaron Rogers situation this summer and wondering why they weren’t communicating. Obviously relevant if you’re interested in sports, but a good read, regardless.

What we do and don’t know about kindness | BBC Future  — Being kind makes us feel good. I love that people actively study kindness and give us important insights. What do you think? and how do the ideas about kindness apply to organizations?

Leadership Lessons from Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles | Black Enterprise — These two athletes have really lead the way in terms of showing that athletes can and should be taking care of their mental health. What can we learn from them?

OPINION: We need to think about college student hunger | Hechinger Report — Food insecurity is a tremendously important issue. Do you see ways for the UO, our community, organizations and students to address this? What kind of communication is needed?

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Getting Started, Guest Post, Networking,

Guest Post: Networking in the Time of Isolation

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Kelli’s Note: Kayla has been a rock star with the informational interviews, not only doing a lot of them, but approaching each very strategically. I asked her to share her advice here.

By Kayla Thomet

Everyone says that the most important thing you can do during this strange and difficult time is network, network, network. That’s all fine and good, but what does it actually mean? How are we supposed to network in a time when we can’t even leave our homes?

For the past month, I’ve been on a complete networking journey – researching tips and tricks, delving into different platforms, and, of course, practicing. I’ve learned there’s a whole network of strangers out there on my team; all I had to do was ask.

Cold-calling is a stressful and nerve-wracking process. I always worried: “am I bothering them?” But what I learned is that people are not bothered at all; in fact, they find joy in helping you. Many successful professionals got their start from networking, from the kindness of a stranger. From over 35 informational interviews, I’ve learned a few best practices along the way.

LinkedIn can be your friend or your foe.

LinkedIn can be one of the most useful tools in searching for a job; however, it can also be intimidating to the first-time user. Take the time to set up your profile and perfect it – make sure to include featured work, a professional headshot, a goal-driven “about” statement, and a detailed description of all work experience.

Use Youtube and other online resources to learn how to use the filter features to refine your search. You must have a quality profile to attract connections and impress potential future employers.

Utilize your alumni network.

There are alumni networks for regions and cities all across the country full of professionals willing to connect and help. Reach out to alumni leaders in the regions you want to move to and ask if they know of anyone in the industry you want to work for.

Additionally, you can use filters on LinkedIn to sort by school; the University of Oregon, in particular, has amazing alum willing to chat with any fellow Duck.

Search for individuals who work in your field or for companies that you want to work for and connect with them.

Identify companies and specific industries you want to work for. Reach out to people working for your dream company; even though you may not start out there, you can learn different paths to get in and put your name on the minds of the people who work there.

While searching, make sure to connect with people in roles you are interested in – you may find that the reality of a position is different than you thought. 

Be sure to customize your invitations to connect.

On LinkedIn, you have the option to customize a message with your invitation to connect. Always customize a message to whoever you are trying to speak to – it shows effort and sets you apart from random requests. Explain who you are, what you hope to learn, and express your desire to learn about the company and its culture.

Follow-up, always.

Be sure to send a follow-up email or message the following day thanking them for speaking with you. I’ve found that it’s helpful to include at least one piece of advice which they gave you that resonated with you. It shows you listened and genuinely took their advice to heart.

Questions to ask once you get the informational interview:(Not a question) but make sure you start with gratitude and humility – you’re here to learn.

  1. Can you share with me a bit about your journey?
  2. How did you figure out what you’re passionate about?
  3. What is one piece of advice you wish you had known at my age?
  4. Do you have any newsletters or blogs you recommend I read?
  5. The golden question: who else do you recommend I talk to?

My name is Kayla Thomet and I’m a graduating senior from the SOJC at the University of Oregon with a major in PR and a minor in business. My greatest passions in life are fine wine, sustainability, and, above all, people. In the future, I hope I can find a career that will allow me to combine my passions to better the world.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

working from home
Career, Life, Tips,

Work from Home, Remote Learning… Whatever You Call It, Spring 2020 PR Campaigns Has the Tips

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To start this bizarro-world term, I had students in my Spring 2020 PR Campaigns class spend some time thinking about how to set themselves up for success. Like it or not, working from home is going to be our new normal… even when things get back to normal.

I shared a handful of resources & then asked each student to find another that they found helpful to add to the list.

First, I’ll share my list. I wanted to both find practical tips, but also help them see that this term is a great time to build some skills in working from home… and honestly, that’s it’s not a fad. Much of the work we do in PR and comms is either already done remotely or easily could be.

Now for my students’ finds (and their comments about why they’ve shared a particular article or resource). You could consider this a master list of tips and ideas, to be sure! Also: Forbes in killing it in either good advice or good SEO… probably a bit of both.

10 Quick Tips To Create A Home Office You’ll Actually Want To Work In (Fast Company)

  • I’m sharing this article about how to make an at-home office space because I think it’s important to have a workspace that minimizes distractions and gives you a space to feel the most productive. – Suzie G.
  • I’m sharing this article about how to create an at-home working space that is separate from your living space and will allow you to be productive. – Hannah M. 

A Simple Trick for Staying Focused While Working From Home (Mental Floss)

  • This article stuck out to me because it addresses the overwhelming amount of distractions (social media, roommates, Netflix, etc). The author suggests that the most important tip for staying focused while working from home is to create a contract with yourself, which I think could be very beneficial. – Hannah C.

How To Stay Productive Under Quarantine (Forbes)

  • I enjoyed this article because I really liked what was said about mental and emotional health. This is obviously a time that is making everyone a little more on edge, so I think it’s important to practice self-care and do what’s best for yourself to stay happy and healthy. – Elise H.

How To Work From Home (Life Kit from NPR)

  • I want to share this article because it mentions the importance of technology in a tough time. It is the most effective way to keep communication with the outside world. Since most physical stores(including telecoms) are closing now, we need to repeatedly check our internets and other devices to ensure they are working in order. – Andy P.
  • I’m sharing this article because it ties in similar strategies like the ones above, such as being able to claim your own space and set your boundaries with those you might be quarantined with. – Savannah K.
  • This NPR article gives you 8 really good and concise tips on how to work from home and I found it really helpful! – Cole K

Josie Ruff 

Working from home with spouse: 7 tips to make it work (CNN)

  • This article is about how to work from home with a spouse, but a lot of the tips can work for family members, roommates or significant others who many of us may be quarantined with. We may usually be excited about the prospect of getting a day with them, but months on end can strain any relationships so setting up some rules may be really helpful. – Josie R.

5 Ways to Manage Stress During the Coronavirus Outbreak (Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic)

  • This article offers five clear, simple ways to manage personal stress during this pandemic. I appreciate these suggestions because stress management is a key to success; I  am  more productive when I’m not stressed out, so finding ways to keep ourselves calm and collected will be helpful throughout this term. – Jodi A.

9 Tips For People Taking Online Classes (Forbes)

  • The article offers helpful tips for students to adapt to remote education, some of which I had not even thought about myself such as the advice for optimizing my internet. – Lorenzo C.

3 Productivity Tips From Work-From-Home Veterans (Forbes)

  • I’m sharing this link because it’s very authentic. A lot of people are writing about this topic and giving their opinions given society’s new way of life, but the employees referred to in this article have done it for years and offer good advice. – Regan H.

7 Tips for Working Remotely During the COVID-19 Crisis (Dice)

  • I found this article entitled 7 Tips For Working Remotely During Covid-19. I am going to share this because I am going to write these 7 steps in my planner notes to remind me that remote work is achievable and I can be successful during this time if I create a set schedule for myself. – Caitlin E. 

Easy Recipes to Cook During Your Coronavirus Self-Quarantine – The New York Times  

  • These are not the healthiest recipes (there’s a lot of baking!) but they use a lot of items that can be easily found in a pantry. – Sara E.

5 Tips To Balance Remote Working While Your Family Is Also At Home (Forbes)

  • Trying to work from home while balancing family priorities is a new challenge. I liked this article from Forbes sharing how to balance different relationships at home while still making time to get your work done. – Kelsey F. 

Coronavirus: How to work from home, the right way (BBC Worklife)

  • I thought this article was really interesting.  It helped me think of ways to stay productive and positive while at home! – Emma S. 

The Ultimate Working From Home Guide (Investopedia)

  • I like this article because it covers all of the aspects of working from home and how to execute them successfully. – Ashley H.  

Work From Home Tips for the Coronavirus Quarantine (Staffbase Blog)

  • I really liked this article because it is very applicable to this class and how we can be successful in our teams! It talks about staying connected to your co workers,  having clear communication, outlining expectations etc. – Maddy F. 

Coronavirus: Mental Health Coping Strategies (NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness)

  • I think assessing one’s mental health is already necessary, but even more so with coronavirus. A little unrelated to resources for at-home productivity, but definitely essential for getting through your day and staying healthy in the long run. – Alexa M. 

People are sharing their best advice for working from home (Cosmo)

  • I liked this Cosmo article because it provided people’s actual experiences from their “home offices”, so you get real feedback about what works and what might be helpful to you too. – Gracyn E.
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Making the Most of Office Hour Meetings with Me

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I truly enjoy meeting with students. One-on-one chats provide time to explain a confusing topic, go over feedback on an assignment or just chat about career (or life) goals. And everyone’s time is valuable – your time as a student, my time as faculty member and a PR pro.

I ask students to make appointments with me using an online calendar system because it helps me manage my schedule and be more available and present for students.

Telecommunication Digital Device Networking Concept

Do You Know Anyone At….? LinkedIn Research Tips

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We’re in the thick of job & internship season. LinkedIn can be your best friend for researching contacts, companies and opportunities.

The most frequent question I get is “do you know anyone at XYZ organization?” With a little research via LinkedIn, you can answer this Q and ask instead, “I see you’re connected to this alumni, can you help connect us?”

Advanced search filters are your friend! Here’s how to use them:

  • Enter the company name in the search bar at the top of the screen and find the company’s page on LinkedIn
  • Check out that right side info. It’ll tell you if you have a contact there (or in this case, 32 contacts).
  • If you have contacts, you can click on that line to see who you know. You can narrow by location — in this case, I’m interested in who I know at Edelman in Seattle.
  • Then narrow to alumni. #OnceADuckAlwaysADuck

And voila! You’ll end up with a nicely refined list.

But what if you don’t have any contacts at the company? A common dilemma when you’re just starting to build your network.

In that case, click on the number of total employees and refine with the search filters.

In this case, I’m looking for 2nd degree contacts, who are also alumni of the University of Oregon, and work at Logical Position in Portland. Take note of the search filters across the top.

This search gives me 34 people. Under each person there’s a small line that says how many shared connections we have. If I was interested in connecting with anyone on that list, I have two options:

  • First, ask a mutual connection to make an e-introduction or provide an email address. This can be helpful if there’s a specific opportunity you’re applying for. You can say, “Kelli, I see you’re connected to XYZ on LinkedIn. I’m applying for an internship there. Would you mind making an email intro so I can ask a few questions or get some tips for my application.”
  • Second, reach out myself! Click that connect button and send a note that says something like, “I’m a soon-to-be-grad of the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon and excited to launch my career in Portland. I’m building my network of fellow alums who work in public relations/marketing/advertising in the area.” This is a powerful way to build your network and connect with alumni.

Don’t be shy! Ducks love helping Ducks.

Looking for more tips? LinkedIn has a great guide for college students with lots of how-tos and tutorials.

Career, Networking, Professional Advice,

I Went on an Agency Tour! Now What?

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More than 50 public relations Ducks spent two days in San Francisco meeting with agencies and PR teams. It was two days of soaking up all the info, walking all the miles and meeting so many alumni and friends. 

Our PR Ducks are lucky to have the opportunity to participate in several experiential learning opportunities — Golden Gate Ducks (San Francisco), Windy City Ducks (Chicago) and quarterly professional development tours with our Public Relations Student Society of America chapter

So, what’s next? Take advantage of all the learning done and connections made: 

OutCast Agency
  • Take a minute and capture your key takeaways. Review your notes, reflect on the experience, write a short blog post for your own blog or as a guest blog for a student group, a professor or your school. (Note: I’d be happy to host a blog here!) 
  • Connect to the people you met on LinkedIn. When you ask to connect, leave a short note that says when you met and thank them for their time/expertise/inspiration. The Muse has some advice about connecting with people.
  • Follow-up more directly with your priority contacts. Send a handwritten card or a thank you email that calls out your specific interest in their organization. Not sure what to say? Here’s some advice. 
  • Set up Google Alerts for your priority agencies/companies and their clients. When a client gets a piece of coverage or some exciting news, you can follow up again with your contact and congratulate or ask about how the campaign worked. 
  • Try out the specific advice that your connections offered. For example, several panels mentioned things like read relevant media every morning or practice your writing. Find a way to build that into your routine! 
The SalesForce “Ohana” Floor

Our SOJC alumni and friends are so generous with their time and energy! Make the most of the visit with a few simple steps. Have others to add! Share with me.

Office buildings

Guest Post: Five Takeaways from #GoldenGateDucks

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Kelli’s Note: Jillian was one of 33 students who went with Instructor Courtney Munther and me to San Francisco in early December. I was impressed by her preparedness, smart questions and overall professionalism during the trip. In fact, I’ve been pretty impressed with all my interactions with Jillian. Man, we have great students! I’m happy to share her five takeaways here. 


A few weeks ago, I was lucky to have the opportunity to travel to San Francisco with fellow UO students to tour PR agencies and communications branches of companies. I left inspired, starry-eyed, and a tad intimidated. But most of all, I left with some key advice:

1. Opportunity only knocks once.

When an opportunity presents itself, take it. You should try everything once. This will help you become versed in numerous disciplines. This attitude will not only help you at work, but in life.

2. Not every question has an answer.

When a supervisor asks you to research something, ask them how long they want you to spend and what they expect you to find. If you have spent an hour looking for something with no success, it may not be there to find. Ask for help, but accept defeat when necessary.

3. ESP

  • Eye contact
  • Smiling/nodding
  • Paraphrasing a question when you answer

(These are key qualities to focus on in interviews to seem more personable.)

4. Comparison is the thief of joy.

Don’t compare yourself to others. At your age, no one really knows what they’re doing. Anyone can portray themselves differently from who they really are. You never know someone else’s truth.

5. Never burn a bridge.

It’s a small world. You never know who from your past could connect you to your next job.

Jillian Niedermeyer is a University of Oregon junior majoring in public relations and media studies. She is originally from Portland. She is currently a member of the PRSSA Bateman Competition team, working for Allen Hall Public Relations as an account executive and trying to catch up on much needed sleep. You can find her on LinkedIn


Q & A with Paige Jepson of Allison + Partners Scottsdale

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Kelli’s Note: I recently (re)connected with Paige Jepson (’15) and asked her if she’d be willing to share a bit about her experience as an account coordinator at Allison + Partners in Scottsdale, Arizona. Huge thanks to Paige for taking the time to respond and offer her advice. By the way, if you would like to participate in a future Q&A, let me know! 

Tell me about Allison + Partners in Scottsdale. What’s your role, what clients do you work on? 

Located in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, the Phoenix office houses close to 30 employees and is the third largest Allison + Partners office in the world.

Our team works with clients big and small, spanning such industries as automotive, healthcare, hospitality, sports, technology and consumer goods. Our office is home to the agency’s Research + Insights team and Hispanic marketing group (Nuestra Voz), working with clients such as Toyota and Dignity Health.

My role as an Account Coordinator is to provide general support to my team. It really depends on the account (and the day), but my work consists of taking the first draft at media relations materials, managing client’s social media pages, participating on internal and client meetings, staffing events, managing influencer relations, reporting, staying up-to-date on local and national media trends and industry trends, and presenting speaking opportunities for spokespeople to name a few!

My accounts have changed throughout my year and a half at A+P. Especially as an intern, I would touch accounts that I wasn’t a main member of to gain experience in different industries, but my current clients are below:

  • Toyota
  • StrataTech Education Group
  • Superfly’s Lost Lake Festival
  • Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Partnerships with Native Americans

What activities were you involved with at UO? Any big “lessons learned” from those activities? (ex: AHPR or a sorority)

I was involved with a sorority at UO – Alpha Phi! I helped organize our annual philanthropy event, which gave me event planning experience that has proven to be helpful.

The biggest lesson I learned would be time management. In college, I had to work on my time management when it came to balancing my workload (I graduated a year early so I was consistently taking 18+ credits per term) and my sorority.

In an agency setting, it is crucial you know how to prioritize and communicate with your teams. Deadlines are a real thing, they aren’t often extended, and with announcements that come at a drop of a hat, it is important you know what to move around and who to communicate with so nothing falls off the radar.

What assignments or projects from your classes have been most valuable in your career so far? 

So many! Our research course was incredibly valuable. Sometimes there will be a period when your client doesn’t have any new news, so it is important that even if you aren’t the one conducting a survey, that you can make suggestions as to what facts and tidbits would be interesting to a reporter and know what types of questions you might need to ask in order to get the information you want.

Our strategic writing class (J352) was probably the most valuable. It forced me to memorize AP style and taught me how to write press-facing materials.

Strategic communications allows you to see an entire plan built out and understand how it all works together.

The weekend portfolio class. In this class, we learned how to be storytellers, but sometimes it can be difficult to tell our own stories. In an interview or a new business pitch, the way you talk about yourself and your work is important.

You’ll stand out if you get in the habit of using the STAR approach (which you’ll learn in that class). Additionally, when a candidate comes in with examples of their work and can talk to it, it really makes them stand out.

As an account coordinator at an agency, what advice would you give juniors and seniors thinking about their post-grad life? 

  • Take the time to refine your skill set.
  • Keep up-to-date on media trends and start to form relationships with journalists.
  • Get in the habit of solving problems. People will appreciate when you offer solutions right off the bat and would much rather listen to someone who has ideas on how to solve problems, rather than someone who just simply presents the problem.

I understand you’ve been participating in internship interviews! Any big takeaways from that experience that you’d share? 

I’ve been sitting in on internship interviews to answer any questions candidates may have about what to expect from the internship and agency life in general. A few things I would suggest are:

  • Bring a portfolio or examples of your work: Showing an example of your work and telling the story with the situation, tactics, action and results is important
  • Writing samples: It is always good to be able to showcase your writing
  • A notepad: Come with questions and take notes during the interview. It shows you are genuinely interested and passionate.
  • Thank you!: Everyone appreciates a thank you!

What is the Scottsdale PR community like? Are there opportunities for young professionals? 

Scottsdale doesn’t have any societies or local chapters that I am aware of, but Phoenix does have an IABC and PRSA chapter which represents all of the Valley!

I am actually planning to attend the 14th Annual Valley Publicity Summit in Phoenix next month! The Society of Professional Journalists presents the event, bringing together a roomful of locally based journalists who will share insights, give their story pitch preferences and industry updates with area public relations practitioners.

Anything else you want to share? 

I think informational interviews are so important. I moved back to Arizona after I graduated, and knew not one person in the industry. I heard about the internship opportunity through an informational interview I had done at another agency who was not hiring at the time 


Rubber ducks floating down the water in the summer

Make the Most of Your Summer

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We’re about mid-way through summer break at the University of Oregon. With just a few weeks to go, I’ve been starting to think about how to make the most of my time before we’re back in class. I have a light schedule, but a long to do list with class prep, personal projects and catching up on family time.

If you’re a student or recent grad, how can you make the most of your summer? I have a few suggestions:

Update your resume: I’ve had to update my own resume this summer and I wish I hadn’t waited so long! Spend some time this summer adding your recent experience, making sure to focus on accomplishments and results. Make sure you update your LinkedIn profile, too. While you’re at it, why not update your online portfolio?

Do some informational interviews: Regardless of where you are in the world, spend some time doing informational interviews. Find a PR pro near you and ask if you can buy them a coffee and talk about their path and what advice they have for a young professional. Informational interviews lack the stakes of a “real” interview, so you can just have a conversation. You never know who you’ll meet that can help you find your next internship or first job.

You could even spend a day doing this if you’re traveling this summer — what a unique opportunity to spend an hour with a PR pro in Italy, Israel, Greece or Mexico!

Need some help figuring out what to do? Figure out how to set one up and what to ask.

Read: Read newspapers, read books, read magazines, read blogs… just read!  Need some inspiration? 25 books for  your summer reading list from LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog; 12 blogs you should be reading; 20 people you should follow on Twitter (most of whom write things you can read!).

Attend a professional association meeting: Find your local PRSA, IABC or American Marketing Association chapter and attend a meeting. Most offer student discounts and often have great speakers. Another opportunity to learn something and do a little networking.  Note that some areas don’t have official national chapters, so you may have to look for a local option.

Learn a new skill: We can’t possibly cover every tool, app, tech thing or concept in classes. But there are plenty of options for learning new skills — and in some cases, even coming away with a certification. My colleague Karen Freberg has a wonderful list of options from Hootsuite, Hubspot and Google Analytics (and more). Or take a stroll through and find something that piques your interest. (Remember that UO students have free access.)

Volunteer: TBH, this is my favorite piece of advice. Volunteering can not only fill your time, but also help you make great connections and even build your portfolio! If you have a favorite cause or a favorite nonprofit, contact the volunteer coordinator or development department and ask if you can help a few hours a week writing web copy, contributing to social media or supporting an event. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at a site like VolunteerMatch — search by city or by cause or by skills. You can even find remote opportunities that could have you working for a global NGO.

Oh, and if you’re a senior, make sure you read my year-long plan for senior PR undergrads.

I’d love to hear your ideas! If you’re a student, how are you spending your summer? If you’re already a pro, what advice do you have for your up-and-coming colleagues?


water balloon fight
Just For Fun,

Why I Participate in Photo Challenges

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I’ve fancied myself a pretty good amateur photographer for a couple of years. I have the gear I need and I love taking photos. Sometimes I have plenty of reasons to do so, but then other times I go for long stretches without an excuse to feed my inner shutterbug.

Photo challenges are a great way to force myself to get out and take new photos. I look at other photographers’ work to be inspired to make better photos. The bonus is by participating in a couple of Facebook groups, I also  see a glimpse of people’s lives from around the world.

Heron at Delta Ponds

365 (+1) Days in Nature Weekly Theme: Greenery

365 (+1) Days in Nature (Facebook) is exactly what you might expect. Nature photos. In fact, the group rules say that your photos should have few (if any) man made elements. There’s a weekly theme, photos are generally very high quality and the participants are from all over the world.

playing in smoke bomb smoke

Photo 365 Prompt: Never a Dull Moment

365 Photo (Facebook) is probably my favorite group. Like many photo challenges, there’s a new list published each month with a prompt a day. The quality of photos varies from very amateur or professional. The moderators choose a set of “top shots” for each prompt, which is a nice recognition for a good photo.

FMS Photo a Day (Facebook & Instagram) is the first photo challenge I participated in on Instagram. I found Instagram to feel less like a community than the Facebook group, but both lists use the same list. Photos vary widely with the top picks for each day’s theme typically very high quality. But  scroll through the feed and you’ll find plenty of snapshots in the mix, too.

ClickinMoms (Instagram) is pretty kid-focused, but even if you’re not a mom, you may have young siblings or spend time with kids in your life. I love the photos the feed features; I get so many great ideas for photo composition and editing with my own kids. There’s a monthly prompt/theme list.

It’s My Week (Instagram) is a new one to me, but I love the way the moderators showcase the theme and the photos. Each week has a new theme and the featured photos are lifestyle/editorial in style (not obviously staged or posed).

FMS Photo a Day Prompt: Blue

FMS Photo a Day Prompt: Blue

Or, if you don’t want to be bound by someone else’s theme, you can try a photo challenge that gives you a little more flexibility. Two that I’ve seen on Instagram are:  #100HappyDays and the #365Project.

What do you think? How do you keep your creative muscles active?


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