Category Archives: Digital PR

Pet Peeves – About Cell Phone Users

▪   Don’t drive with the phone plastered to the head.

▪   The phone just rang and you are expecting a very important call? If you want to check that call, please, pull off the road or into a parking lot.

▪   Texting while driving. Another NO NO!

▪   Playing with apps, checking email or messages in traffic or while waiting at a red light.

▪   Walking the dog while on the cell phone. Especially a large dog off leash. While the dog gets into trouble, the owner is chatting away not caring.

▪   In the doctor’s office talking on the phone. Please step outside to talk.

▪   Talking loud enough so everyone can hear what you are saying. If you have hearing problem then get a headset.  If the problem is signal strength offer to call back. Yes, there are some “dead zones” where signal strength is poor.

▪   Seeing a sign saying, “Please no cell phone use” and still talking on the phone.

Just a note about us: Me and my German Shepherd are people watchers. This started back in my undergraduate days for an assignment and grew into studying people.

Mobile Device Learning

In order to write this blog I observed the local Starbucks and two of the three McDonalds in New Braunfels, Texas the last few days. This small sampling is not much different observing people in Austin or San Antonio using mobile devices. What I see are Androids, iPhones, iPads, tablets and laptops. Just what are these people working on, anything from updating social media on a great drink, college students doing class work, business people connecting to home office or checking for new business. All these people are using the Internet, but are they using the full potential of the device? Smartphone as a learning device in the classroom is reality as students learn and communicate with each other. Smartphones collect real-time data for many reasons. Yet, with all the standard features and apps out there, where is there training for the common person on how to use the smartphone?

Hence, an organization using the Internet, a website and app where anyone can learn “How to Use the Smartphone”. The site would have systematic instructions on different versions of the most popular smartphones. How would all work? First, one needs a smartphone and basic understanding of how to connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi or data service. Then the person signs up for a series of “lessons” learning how to use the smartphone. The “lessons” are screen shots of the actual phone using the local language. The ideal situation would be a classroom setting using a computer as the “teacher” as the person goes through each step using the smartphone. Now the big question is who is willing to write the apps and website on the smartphone use? Maybe the companies who own the smartphone rights like Apple or Huawei. There are many organizations like the Peace Corps and United Nations (UN) who could have the “lessons” on their website in many languages. The UN is already doing good in Africa, Rio de Janeiro and other places with smartphones, this would only enhance the learning curve.

Advertising and posting on social media, the website and local merchants who sell the smartphone. The biggest advantage would be if the smartphone company places a brochure in the box with the information about the “lessons” available to the person.



Kim, J., Ilon, L., & Altmann, J. (2013). Adapting Smartphones as Learning Technology in a Korean University. Journal Of Integrated Design & Process Science, 17(1), 5-16. doi:10.3233/jid-2013-0002

Braekkan Payne, K., Wharrad, H., & Watts, K. (2012). Smartphone and medical related App use among medical students and junior doctors in the United Kingdom (UK): a regional survey. BMC Medical Informatics & Decision Making, 12(1), 121-131. doi:10.1186/1472-6947-12-121

Subramanya, S. R., & Farahani, A. (2012). Point-of-View Article on: Design of a Smartphone App for Learning Concepts in Mathematics and Engineering. International Journal Of Innovation Science, 4(3), 173-184.

UN, United Nations. (n.d.). UN News Center. Retrieved October 23, 2013, from

FlyFishing on the Guadalupe River

Free Orvis Fly Fishing Class Photo Williamsville, NY
Free Orvis Fly Fishing Class Photo
Williamsville, NY

Welcome to the Texas Hill Country and New Braunfels, Texas where trout season begins in mid-October, ending in Spring.

Fly-fishing has become popular on the Guadalupe River with many places to fly fish open to those who know. The Texas Parks & Wildlife stocks the Guadalupe River with approx. 24,000 rainbow trout from November to March.

The basic equipment one needs to enjoy fly-fishing is listed below while comparing to spinning and bait casting rods and reels.

Rod: comes in different lengths with at least three pieces. The spinning or bait casting (conventional) one-piece rod one knows does not exist in fly-fishing. While the typical rod is six (6) to ten (10) feet long; and from one to twelve weight which translates to conventional rods from ultra-light (two to four pound line) to boat rods (over 65 pound line). A good all around fly rod weight is the five-weight as this weight can tackle most fish in the Guadalupe and San Marcos Rivers. Once one has gotten the fly-fishing fever, the rule of thumb to cover fly-fishing from ultra-light and river to saltwater fishing rods in three, five and nine weight. For trout fly-fishing a four weight is recommended with special trout line.

As in conventional rods, buy the best rod one can afford as rod prices reflect quality. Yes, one can buy a custom fly rod but starting out just buy a quality fly rod from a top name fly-rod manufacture.

Reel: this is the easy part as the reels come in the same weights, so a five-weight rod will have a five-weight reel and will cover several weights as in spinning and bait casting reels. Depending on the reel, a Left or Right hand retrieve and extra arbor (spool) for different line weights are available. This is where one can save some money as all the reels are of the same basic design and serve only one purpose: hold the fly fishing line.

Line and Backing: backing comes in 100-yard spool of 20lb Dacron is necessary to reduce line memory and faster retrieving of the fly line. The line weight will matching the type of fish one wants to catch, such as trout, bass, etc.

Leaders and Tippets: the leader is the fluorocarbon line between the fly line and the tippet where the fly (bait) is tied. The fish cannot see the leader and the tippet line and bites the bait. In addition, if your casting is off target check the leader as most problems are corrected when the leader is correct for the fly line weight, type of fly (wet vs. dry) and type of fish one is catching.

Fly: the artificial bait mimicking the local food the fish is eating. For the Guadalupe River, there are 12 flies for trout and two for bass in two basic colors bright and dark. Bright flies for sunny days and clear water while dark flies are used for overcast days or cloudy water.


Fly-Fishing Rods | Fly Rod Combos & Outfits|Fly Fishing|Fly Rods — Orvis. (n.d.). Orvis Official Store: Quality Men’s Clothing, Women’s Clothing, Fly Fishing Gear, Dog Beds, Home Furnishings, Luggage, Travel, Hunting, and Gifts; Since 1856.. Retrieved September 29, 2013, from

Guadalupe River Fishing Access Points. (n.d.). Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Retrieved September 29, 2013, from

How to Choose Leaders and Tippets when Fly Fishing | Field & Stream. (n.d.). Hunting, Fishing, Survival, Guns, Gear | Field & Stream. Retrieved September 29, 2013, from

Rainbow Trout Stocking. (n.d.). Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Retrieved September 29, 2013, from

Texas Council International Federation of Fly Fishers | Official Site for International Federation of Fly Fishers Texas Council. (n.d.). Texas Council International Federation of Fly Fishers | Official Site for International Federation of Fly Fishers Texas Council. Retrieved September 29, 2013, from

Trout Locations. (n.d.). Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Retrieved September 29, 2013, from





Copyright of Works

Entertainment, economics and copyright go hand in hand in the form of music, films, song writing, music videos, TV shows, photographs and web shows.  The profit must cover the costs of production otherwise the company or individual will loose.  Pirating films and music is wrong in every sense, yet its done every day.  The lost money from entertainment media was a major problem; that many of the big studios took on the Napsters of the world.  Is winning in court the way, or can there be other ways to protect copyright works and keep the public happy?

Some ideas are:

  • Dropping the price of the finished product
  • Legal download through companies like iTunes
  • Subscriptions to the studio’s multimedia library with limited copyrights to other professionals who would like to use the work
  • A Internet company cooperating with studios, record companies and others who hold copyrights to entertainment media legally renting copyright works to individuals and companies

How does all this affect the Public Relations person following the Public Relations Society of America Code of Ethics?  Using material with unknown copyright source can cause grief to the individual, company or organization.  Lets be frank about copyright, the creator of the work deserves the money and credit unless it is 100% sure the work is before 1923, the year the work is now public domain.   The U.S. Copyright has wonderful information online to help people with copyright problems.

Some people have used Flickr photos under the Creative Commons license.  Started and located at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society.  This idea is unique to licensing copyright content.  There are no royalties, the creator is asked to place their works into the public domain under Commons Deed, Legal Code, or Digital Code, and to place the work(s) in the public domain after 14 years, as established by U.S.  First Congress in 1790.  This concept was a great idea in early 2000’s.  Now it is a different story.

Getty images is now very aggressive in sending letters out to people who assumed the Creative Commons was safe free alternative to paying for stock photos.  This has started a new wave of what is a safe copyright photo.  If a court case starts, many people will follow it, as the decision will decide the future of free stock photos and copyright law.

In the meantime, an idea is to hire a professional to do the work.  In the agreement or contract, pay the extra money so the company or organization owns all the copyright(s) to the work, yet allowing the professional to use the work in a portfolio.  As part of the agreement always give full credit to the professional, so others know who really did the work.