Ryann Armstrong

Hello! I made this page to highlight the PR work that I've done. This page is also a reflection of my personality and aesthetic. Feel free to look around!


About

Hello, my name is Ryann Armstrong. I am a senior at the University of North Texas pursuing a degree in journalism with a public relations concentration. I am incredibly passionate about politics and advocacy, so I spend a reasonable amount of time online reading about the latest political scandals and volunteering for local nonprofit and charity events.

As a child of an English teacher, I had no choice but to fall in love with writing. I loved participating in creative writing events and journaling throughout my childhood and became successful in debate competitions when I got a little older. My love for writing and politics is why I yearn to pursue a career in public relations.

I pride myself on my excellent communication skills and my outgoing personality. Thank you for your interest in my site.

Memo

To: Dorothy Bland, Kim Keller, Larry Powell, Brittany McElroy and Stephanie Garza

From:  Mayborn PR Professional Ryann Armstrong

Date: Nov. 28, 2023

Subject: Mayborn information session for Ray Braswell High School students 

When and Where

The Mayborn School of Journalism will visit Ray Braswell High School on Dec. 8 to discuss the many opportunities our department offers. The event will start at 9 a.m. and end at 10 a.m., so please be in the front office by 8:45 a.m. We will all meet there and walk to the auditorium together. 

Event Rundown

The event will begin with a quick welcome message and introduction from Ray Braswell’s principal, DeCorian Hailey. We will then move on to speeches from each of you in the order provided in the agenda below. The event will end with a Q&A session with the students, so please be prepared to answer any questions they may have. 

We expect a turnout of around 175 students, so this is an excellent opportunity to recruit some bright, capable young minds. 

Directions to Ray Braswell High School from Sycamore Hall

  • Head east on West Hickory Street for 1100 feet
  • Turn left onto Avenue C and drive for one mile
  • Turn right on West University Drive and continue on that road for 13 miles
  • Turn right onto Navo Road for 0.2 miles
  • Turn into the parking lot of Ray Braswell High School

Hello, everyone. I’m so excited to be here and see all of your fresh faces. I am Professor Keller, and I am going to talk to you all about public relations.

Who here has heard of P-R? (PAUSE, LOOK FOR HANDS) That’s great! So, basically, P-R is all about creating relationships between the organization and groups of people. We do a lot of different things, but the center of the job is communication. If you are good at making friends and talking to people, you might be a good fit for P-R. If you’re good at smoothing things over with your parents and getting away with things you probably shouldn’t, you’re perfect for P-R.






So, before I started teaching, I worked a bunch of different jobs. I did medical photography and worked at a nonprofit. But eventually, I worked for FedEx’s P-R department. It’s there that I learned the valuable skills that I pass on to my students.

Enough about me, does anyone here like to talk? Maybe too much? (LAUGH, LOOK AROUND FOR HANDS, CHOOSE A STUDENT TO CONNECT WITH)






Okay, my talker, what’s your name? (WAIT FOR RESPONSE) So (INSERT NAME), who’s your favorite celebrity? (WAIT FOR RESPONSE) Yep, she has a public relations manager. Pretty much everyone in the public eye has a P-R representative behind them.

Alright, (INSERT NAME) one more question. What is your favorite shoe brand? Yep, it has a P-R team managing its relationship with you. So, anyway, the point I’m getting at is public relations is almost always present. Companies and individuals need people like me to manage their relationships with eachother and with you.




I’ve been talking a lot about communication, but there’s a lot more to P-R than just verbal communication. That’s part of it, sure, but we also have to be good with writing, media, social media, and a bunch of other things. Now, this is where y’all have me beat. I’m old. I don’t know how to use all the new social media, and I don’t keep up with the latest trends. Y’all have had phones basically your whole lives and know how and what to post on everything. Honestly, I’m jealous.

P-R is a field in which you can use all that knowledge about Charli D’Amelio’s (DAH-meal-ee-oh) latest dance or Selena Gomez’s latest feud with Hailey Bieber to your advantage. You can take the information that your parents think is useless and use it to make money. Sounds pretty great, right?



Alright, so now that everyone wants in, let’s talk school. At U-N-T, we offer a program where you get your degree in journalism with a focus in P-R. That means you get to explore journalism a little bit and get better at writing while learning the skills you need to succeed in your career.

Now, it is by no means an easy degree. You have to be dedicated to improving your skills, and I’m going to be honest with you all: I can be kind of a tough grader. But I can guarantee that by the time you walk across that stage at graduation, you will be a professional in the field.





How can I guarantee that, you ask? Well, I have a story for you. One of my ex-students, Valerie (VAL-err-ee), is graduating in December and already has two jobs fighting over her. She worked hard in my classes, and I taught her everything she needed to be awesome. And that’s just one of my ex-students. I have tons of kids all across the world thriving in the profession.

Another cool thing that really sets our P-R department at U-N-T apart from the others is our hands-on opportunities. So, we all think of college as sitting in classes listening to boring professors like me talk. You know the (CHARLIE BROWN TEACHER IMPRESSION). Well, we actually have a student-run agency at Mayborn.



So you get actual experience with real clients before graduating. You do the same things that you’ll do in the field, but with a mentor helping you out when you need it.

The agency is called AgenZ (A-jen-ZEE), and the students create everything. You’ll learn how to do research, produce content, and work with clients. This opportunity is something that is unique to U-N-T and really sets our students apart. If you participate in this program, you’re pretty much guaranteed a job after graduation.





Finally, we are always looking for students with different backgrounds. U-N-T is one of the most diverse campuses in America, and with P-R, diversity is crucial. We represent our audience, so our different backgrounds help us understand eachother and cater to our people. If you’re Black, Hispanic or Asian, you will be a valuable asset in P-R, and people will seek you out.

So, who’s ready to enter your public relations era? (LAUGH) You guys are the future, and public relations is thriving right now. It is definitely one of those careers that is never going away.

Speech Script

Brand Journalism Article

Five red flags of domestic violence in a relationship

No one deserves to struggle with domestic violence. Sadly, many times, the red flags of an abusive relationship are ignored. Here are some actions that might be signs you’re in an abusive relationship.

1 Does your partner take control of your money?

Financial abuse is a common form of domestic violence that often gets forgotten. It’s usually from your partner wanting power and control in the relationship. An example of this type of abuse would be if your partner gets in the way of you getting to work by constantly making you late. Another example would be if your partner convinces you not to go to work at all. On the other hand, financial abuse can be as simple as you and your partner “sharing” a bank account, but he controls all your spending. This warning sign can cause lasting harm to your bank account, which can make it hard for you to apply for apartments or loans later down the line, making it one of the hardest effects of domestic violence to recover from.

2 Is your partner always jealous?

In many cases of abuse, partners will feel that they own their victims. This makes the abusers extremely jealous of their partner’s relationships with others, which can often lead to isolation. For example, if your partner gets upset when you go out to eat with your friends or tells you not to talk to certain people at work or school, this is what is known as morbid jealousy and can be a sign of a toxic relationship. This type of jealousy is usually paired with anger and obsessive habits from a partner, both of which can be dangerous.

3 Does your partner consistently abuse substances?

Many times, addiction can play a big role in a harmful relationship. This can look a few different ways, such as your partner pushing you into using drugs or alcohol when you don’t want to, or your partner regularly abusing substances, making him angry or emotional. In fact, the American Addiction Center found that up to 75% of people being treated for substance abuse have done some sort of domestic violence. When a person abuses substances such as drugs or alcohol, they can become more emotional, making domestic violence more likely and often more deadly.

4 Does your partner pressure you to do sexual acts that you’re uncomfortable with?

Sexual abuse includes but is not limited to rape. When most people think of sexual abuse they think of the intense, violent incidents seen on the news. While these situations do happen, they are not the only type of sexual abuse. In fact, this type of abuse can look as simple as your partner ignoring your feelings about sex or making you dress more sexual than you are comfortable with. Again, this behavior from a partner is usually based on power and control. Any act, whether small or big, can fall under this warning sign if nonconsensual.

5 Is your partner constantly “love bombing” you?

Love bombing is when your partner is constantly showing you large amounts of love. This can look like excessive amounts of physical affection, exaggerated profession of their love or showering you with constant gifts. This behavior can be an early sign that abuse is to come, or it can be a way to excuse abusive behavior. Either way, the act of love bombing is usually done to justify something your partner has done and trick your brain into defending bad behavior. This warning sign can be hard to spot but can be extremely harmful.

When to end the relationship

It’s easy to become stuck in a bad, abusive relationship because you become comfortable with and rely on your partner, regardless of toxic behavior. You and your partner could have formed a pattern of abuse that is extremely tricky to break. However, by staying in a harmful relationship, you are hurting yourself and your other relationships. If you answered yes to any of the questions above about your relationship, it may be time to consider a fresh start. While some of these things can be worked out through therapy and communication, all of them are types of abuse and valid reasons to end a relationship.

What to remember if you are in an abusive relationship and decide to leave

  • It will not be easy, but your mental and physical health will be worth it.
  • It is not your fault. Do not blame yourself.
  • You deserve respect.
  • You deserve to live a safe and happy life.
  • You are not alone.

Facebook Post:

Do you and your partner have a healthy relationship? Do you know what red flags to watch out for in an abusive relationship? Most people don’t, which means the warnings normally go unnoticed. In this article by Ryann Armstrong, you can learn more about the warning signs in a relationship to be better prepared to help yourself or a loved one if a problem ever occurs.

A screenshot of a computer

Description automatically generated

Domestic violence is the act of controlling and silencing a victim.

Photo Credit: Pexels, Karolina Grabowska, https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-covering-a-woman-s-mouth-4379958/

You are enough. Think of the community that supports and loves you.

Photo Credit: Pexels, Pixabay, https://www.pexels.com/photo/2-person-holding-hands-45842/

Feature Story

Feature Story



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Ryann Armstrong

Director of Public Relations

682-202-5546

ryannarmstrong@my.unt.edu




SEO Head: Small business in DFW makes novelty soaps shaped like dessert

Sub Head: Fun soap shapes are increasing in popularity among mothers and their children

(DALLAS, Texas – Sept. 9, 2023) When most people think of a cupcake, a soft, delectable, sweet treat used to signify a celebration comes to mind. However, cupcakes and other adorably delicious sweet treats have recently evolved into more than a calorie-dense dessert.

The five-person team at Olliepop, a small store in Dallas, makes and sells soaps identical to many popular sweet treats with a sweet yet clean aroma. The company developed its niche dessert-themed soaps in 2020 and has since sold out of three newly released products due to their popularity, including a soap shaped like a popsicle that it released three months ago.

“The whole idea of Olliepop started with COVID when I was trying to teach my oldest kid to wash her hands, and it was not so easy with a two, almost 3-year-old,” says the founder of Olliepop, Danielle Hoeffner. “So I started creating fun-shaped soaps and putting stuff in them, and she loved it. Before I knew it, other people started liking the soaps and asking me to make more fun shapes.”

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The marketing and creative director for Olliepop, Katie Neumann, uses her age and experience to influence the company's personality. She genuinely believes in the products she describes as novelties with adorable designs, and she uses bright pops of blues and pinks and cute figures like rubber ducks to bring youthful and whimsical energy to the company’s Instagram.

The Olliepop soap formula combines a mixture of rich cocoa, coconut and shea butters with almond oil and intense aroma-infused essential oils. The soap scents range from sweet dessert-like aromas, such as vanilla and pink lemonade, that make the user’s body smell like a dessert, to more traditional scents like mint and lavender.

The team takes pride in the quality of their products because they don’t have the harsh chemicals that more prominent brands have, boasts Neumann.

According to Credence Research, the popularity of these handmade soaps is growing due to concerns about skin health. Many believe that chemical-based skincare products can cause skin issues, so consumers have become more conscious about eliminating chemicals.

The successful soap company conducts most of its sales through wholesale markets and its website. Olliepop sells many of its products to independent boutiques, which have recently increased in popularity.



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Furthermore, fun soaps from Olliepop can be a perfect gift for children.

“Good hygiene is essential for children’s health and well-being, but getting them excited about handwashing can sometimes be a challenge,” said Neumann in one of the company’s blog posts. “At Olliepop, we have created a range of kids’ soaps formulated with gentle ingredients, but we’ve added a fun bath toy on top.”

Another crucial contribution to Olliepop’s success is its social media presence. Neumann, the primary administrator of the company’s social media accounts, is a young college student and full-time employee at Olliepop who tries to incorporate her inherent knowledge of Generation Z into her posts.

“I usually do Instagram reels and TikToks to get [the GenZ] audience,” she says. “So to get [their] attention, I go in the office and film them frosting the cupcakes. That usually is interesting because it’s similar to baking actual cupcakes.”

The company’s Instagram, @olliepopusa, features a few videos of the soap making in action. In one of the videos, the employee pipes the blue, icing-like soap onto a base made to look like a cupcake as upbeat French music plays in the background. In another post, a happy, high-pitched piano plays in the background as an employee with blue latex gloves uses a machine with about ten sharp wires to slice the soap in a satisfyingly slow manner. The soap in this video is a dark grey with blue sparkles sprinkled on top, but the inside is white, allowing the swirled pattern inside to stand out significantly.

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Neumann, who spends at least five hours a day on her work for Olliepop on top of her full-time school schedule, and Hoeffner, who has risked her life for the well-being of her company, are the “key[s] to the success of the company,” says Hoeffner.

“I fell down the stairs a week and a half before the first big market and broke both of my legs,” she says as she reflects on the company's start. “Tell me if there is a boss in the world who would stand and walk on two broken legs if they had a choice not to.”

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Photos:

One of Olliepop’s most popular soaps is shaped like a cupcake with a cactus topper. This soap was one of the first dessert-shaped products available from the company and is sold on olliepop.com and in-store for $14.










Katie Neumann, the marketing specialist at Olliepop, says the popsicle-shaped soap is a best seller for Olliepop. Neumann runs the company’s social media and website.



Promotional Tweet:

Media Outlets:

Dallas Innovatives: This publication might be interested in the article above because they recently did a feature for the ranch soap that Buff City Soaps partnered with WingStop to create. This media outlet highlights creative ideas, which is perfect for Olliepop’s unique soaps.

D Magazine: D Magazine publishes a series of articles themed around gift ideas titled “Showers of gifts some fresh ideas.” This article, or at least a portion of it, could be included in the series because Olliepop soaps are marketed as great gift options.

PaperCity Magazine- This magazine is a Dallas publication that highlights local businesses and culture. This media outlet could be interested in the feature story because Olliepop is a local, family-owned business with unique merchandise.

Media Release

A new app connects hairstylists and customers

(DALLAS, Texas- Feb. 17, 2023) HairAnywhere, a new app created to assist clients with finding highly rated stylists who can fit their needs, will be released on Feb. 27 by Apps for the Masses.

The app, which is compatible with both iOS and Android systems, will have information on more than 1.2 million hairstylists nationwide. Because many stylists do not have their own websites, this app will give them an outlet to display photos of their work and provide ratings from third-party review sites.

“Before this app, we relied on word-of-mouth to get clients,” said Barbra Banks, a hairstylist in Denton. “Now we have somewhere to actually show off our work, but also somewhere the bad eggs can be exposed.”

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HairAnywhere has a search function in which users can filter searches based on information such as location, cost and services. The search results utilize a ranking system based on reviews from sites like Yelp, with the most qualified, highly reviewed hairdressers at the top of the page.

“This app will be easy to use and aesthetically pleasing,” said Director of Research and Development for Apps for the Masses Mark Yusef.

Clients can make appointments through the app, making it a convenient tool for both stylists and their customers.

About Apps for the Masses:

Apps for the Masses is a Dallas-based company founded in 2015. The company’s team of 25 employees works with software development programs such as Java and Flutter to create quality apps compatible with iOS and Android programs. Learn more about Apps for the Masses at www.Apps4theMasses.com.

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Position Paper

___’s Position on Texas Laws About Stalking

Background of Laws About Stalking

Stalking is the act of harassing or pursuing someone with unwanted attention. Laws permitting stalking are relatively new in the United States. California passed the first law a little more than 30 years ago, in 1990, after an actress named Rebecca Shaeffer was killed by her stalker, bringing attention to the severity of stalking. Since then, almost every state has included stalking protective measures within their laws. (Bouffard, et al., 2021)

In 2018, Sam Houston University partnered with the Crime Victims Institute at the Huntsville school's Criminal Justice Center to produce the first-ever statistical survey on stalking in Texas. The study found that almost one in five Texans claim to be victims of stalking. Furthermore, the study found that people accused of stalking were overwhelmingly single men under 35. (Murphy & Gleason, 2018)

Current Laws About Stalking

Currently, stalking is considered a third-degree felony in Texas. A perpetrator convicted of stalking can be served up to a $10,000 fine and two to ten years in prison. A sentence becomes more severe based on factors such as the number of offenses and whether the victim is a minor, elderly, disabled or a public servant. (Bouffard, et al., 2021) If a stalker has not been convicted, the victim can also file a protective order or a restraining order against the perpetrator to protect their wellbeing. Law enforcement expects victims to report every instance so that documentation is complete to achieve adequate court assistance.

A new bill, Senate Bill 1717, was enacted on Sep. 1, 2023. It aims to allow cases against stalking to use evidence of "existing or previous relationships between the stalker and the victim." (Vela, 2023) Essentially, it widens the scope to include victims feeling "terrified or intimidated," where it once only allowed for victims who felt "fear." The bill also aims to fix legislation that was once "cumbersome and difficult to use" by allowing prosecutors to use past instances between the victim and perpetrator as evidence to prove stalking has taken place in hopes of reducing homicides. (SB 1717, 2023)

___ Official Position

___ is in favor of educating law enforcement on implementing new stalking laws. According to a study in the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights, of the victims who were granted protective orders against their stalkers in 2019, 30% of them continued to be stalked. (Huang, 2019) With a new bill recently added to Texas legislation, it is essential to emphasize its execution.

Why Laws about Stalking Are Important

Research by Melvin Huang (2019) suggests, "Stalking creates a psychological prison that systematically deprives its victims of basic liberty." The study categorizes stalking as an abusive act that falls under the umbrella of domestic violence. Moreover, because psychological abuse doubled and physical abuse quadrupled in 2019, stalking is becoming increasingly problematic. The study found that, as a whole, domestic violence victims who did not apply or were not granted a protection order were 3.3 times more likely to be assaulted again compared to those who received help. Huang suggests making protective orders more accessible to victims by providing more education programs to law enforcement over dealing with stalking incidents. (Huang, 2019)

According to an eight-year study conducted in Houston in 2017, there is a significant discrepancy between stalking incidents and actual arrests. During the study period, the Houston Police Department received nearly 4,000 calls related to stalking incidents, but only 66 of those were transferred into incident reports, and 12 were arrested. The study discovered that most calls were reported as lower-level incidents, such as harassment. (Brady & Nobles, 2017)

Counterarguments

Furthering the execution and education of stalking laws is important, although it has its weaknesses.

  1. Texas stalking legislation is created by legislatures to satisfy their personal agendas. The newest bill that went into effect last month is said to include wording that suggests targeted protection of the privileged elite. When laws like this are passed as a response to the fears of influential people, it causes "regular" people to feel like an "afterthought." For example, in 2020, after a U.S. District Judge's address was leaked, resulting in her son's death, Congress passed the Danial Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act of 2021. The act made it against the law for federal agencies to post private information about government employees online. This law essentially only protects legislative employees, neglecting many other groups needing protection. (Ward, 2023)
  2. Laws against stalking directly negate the Fourteenth Amendment. The Fourteenth Amendment makes it illegal for states to inhibit the "privileges or immunities of citizens." (U.S. Const., amend. XIV) According to Tracey Carter, stalking laws violate that amendment with vague wording that doesn't explicitly say what is illegal or not. The author claims that this violation of the Fourteenth Amendment can lead to discriminatory enforcement. (Carter, 2018) This assertion was challenged in the Johnson V. State Georgia 1993 court case when the court ruled in favor of the state, disproving Johnson's claims that the anti-stalking legislation was "broad" by stating that a person of "ordinary intelligence" could understand the legislation. (Johnson V. State, 1994)
  3. Anti-stalking legislation jeopardizes freedom of speech. A key part of enforcing legislation surrounding stalking is implementing "harassment prevention orders." These orders usually tell the accused to cease contact with the victim but have recently been used to advise the offender to generally stop speaking about the complainant. This is a slippery slope that has the potential to lead to the banning of all speech, violating the First Amendment. (Volokh, 2022) Although this violation may have been a question in the past, SB 1717 directly addresses this issue by providing specific jargon geared directly toward addressing previous discrepancies in the legislation. (SB 1717, 2023)

Recommendations

Finding a solution to stalking in Texas is vital. Passing SB 1717 was just the first step of many to fixing a vastly complicated issue.

  • Educate the public on how to handle stalking with programs like The Texas Stalking Project at UT, which will provide education and tools to students experiencing stalking. (Hatangadi, 2022)
  • Require law enforcement to receive certification from programs like the Stalking Prevention, Awareness, & Resource Center, or SPARC, which teaches officers to recognize stalking and how to handle it. (SPARC, 2023)
  • Continue to update and scrutinize wording in anti-stalking laws to keep them modernized and adequate for the protection of citizens.

Works Cited

Bouffard, L.A, Bouffard, J.A., Nobles, M.R., &Askew, L. (2021). Still in the Shadows: The

unresponsiveness of stalking prosecution rates to increased legislative attention. Journal

of Criminal Justice, 73, 1-5.

Brady, P.Q., & Nobles, M.R. (2017). The Dark Figure of Stalking: Examining Law Enforcement

Response Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 32, 3049-3200.

Carter, T. (2018). Local, State, and Federal Responses to Stalking: Are Anti-Stalking Laws

Effective?. William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law, 22, 333-334.

Hatangadi, M. (2022). Texas Stalking Project Aims to creat resources on campus for students

being stalked The Daily Texan- University of Texas- Austin

Huang, M. (2019). Note: Keeping Stalkers at Bay in Texas Texas Journal on Civil Liberties

& Civil Rights, 1-5 & 8-20.

Johnson V. State, 264 Ga. 449 S.E. 2d 94, (1994)

https://advance.lexis.com/api/document?collection=cases&id=urn:contentItem:3RX8-9DF0-003G-P4KX-00000-00&context=1516831.

Murphy, K., & Gleason, R. (2018). Stalking in Texas’ Survey Houstonian: Sam

Houston State Univeristy, 1-3.

SB 1717, 2023 Reg Sess. (Texas 2023) Relating to the prosecution of the offense of stalking

https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/88R/billtext/html/SB01717I.htm.

SPARC (2023, Oct. 18) Resources for Law Enforcement

https://www.stalkingawareness.org/law-enforcement-resources/#:~:text=SPARC%20prov

ides%20training%20to%20law,and%20response%20to%20stalking%20crimes.

U.S. Const., amend. XIV, § 1

Vela, J. (2023). Zaffrini Extends Texas Record Loredo Morning Times, 143, 83, 7.

Volokh, E. (2022). Article: Overbroad Injunctions against speech (Especially in Libel and

harassment cases) Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 45, 4-8.

Ward, S. (2023). Privacy Should be a Fundamental Right for All, Not Just For Elites R

Street Institute

https://www.rstreet.org/commentary/privacy-should-be-a-fundamental-right-for-all-not-just-for-elites/