Social Media Release

This is a proof-of-concept release and not intended for actual use.

Pitch: On April 29, Cottonseed Studios will host Nashville-based band Banditos at the John Emerald Distillery in Opelika, Ala. The event will start at 8 p.m. and will last until 11 p.m.


Six years ago, Nashville-based sextet Banditos formed in Birmingham, Ala. while playing various punk and rock ‘n’ roll projects in DIY, all-ages venues. When the six-piece band realized that the bigger and more diverse music scene of Nashville could benefit their careers, they quickly made the move. A combination of ‘60s blues-fused acid rock, backwoods bluegrass and unexpected bits of doo-wop sweetness, the Banditos will bring nothing but original sound to the stage Friday night. Opelika-based Cottonseed Studio will bring the Banditos to John Emerald Distillery for an intimate and grungy performance to remember.


  • The event will be help April 29 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the John Emerald Distillery in Opelika, Ala.
  • Tickets are $13.65 for General Admission and $11.54 for Early Bird. General Admission tickets will go on sale April 29.
  • The John Emerald Distillery is located in Opelika, Ala. at 705 North Railroad Avenue.



Social Media:

Cottonseed Studios



Richard Patton


Allison Wilmarth Kovak


1,100 Miles Later

Dear Freshman year me,

Wow, how the time does fly. It seems like only yesterday you were moving into your dorm in the Hill, sweating profusely and not realizing just how many trips to Target you would have to make in the next 48 hours (and four years). I bet you didn’t realize that when you said goodbye to your mom and watched her drive her rental car back to the Atlanta airport, that the best four years of your life were about to begin. I hope you didn’t spend too many of those first few nights staying awake and wondering if going to school 1,100 miles from home was the right decision. Would you make friends? Would you do well in school? Would the culture shock be too much?

The first few months will be the hardest; you’ll miss home, your family (especially your dog) and what has been familiar for the first 18 years of your life. It will get better and you’ll get used to being alone at times. You’ll meet so many new people, some that will be in your life for a week, a month or maybe just that Tuesday/Thursday class you hate so much. Eventually you’ll meet those amazing ones, the people that you’ve only heard stories about from your parents and family and the ones they still talk to today. They’ll be the ones that join you for midnight night ice cream runs, trips to Target just to wander around and will be there when you truly think you’ve hit rock bottom.

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You’ll learn that choosing your major when you’re 18 and all you cared about was horses will lead you to changing it two (maybe three) times. As annoying as it may seem, enjoy the times you walked from building to building with your folder to change majors because passing those campus buildings will soon be something you only do when you come back to visit for a weekend. Take an extra long time in front of Samford. You’ll see that building for years to come on postcards and posters, but how many times will you be there right at noon to hear the fight song ring through campus.

So as a much older and (hopefully) wiser you, please promise me a few things as you spend the next four years at Auburn. Promise me you’ll stay up way too late during the week to hang out with friends, even if you have a big project or test the next day. Stay up even later on the weekend because contrary to what others may say, the best memories can happen after 2 a.m. Fail a few classes, shed some tears and fear that you may not graduate on time, it builds character and strength and you will realize how small those events are in the grand scheme of things. Call your mom, she’ll worry about you and miss you more than she’ll let on. Finally, promise me you won’t regret a thing. The choices you will make will shape you into who you are and lead you to the best experiences and “family” you will ever meet.


Three Telltale Signs Public Relations is the Major for You

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to grow up to be a veterinarian. This was after a short stint in dreaming of being a mermaid and then realistically hoping to be an Olympic equestrian. As you can tell, I had an extremely active imagination growing up but I could never fully put a finger on what I actually wanted to do with my life. As I grew older some of those same passions stuck with me (still convinced I’m going to be a mermaid). I continued to horseback ride and maintained my strong love for animals. This led me to attending Auburn University with the hopes of majoring in animal science, but after a few semesters and many tears later I came to the tough realization that anything involving science, math or the combination, was not for me. I thought about what I was good enjoyed the most about high school and education growing up and realized that writing, literature and anything creative was what I excelled at. My path took me some time to figure out so save yourself the struggle and see if public relations is the perfect major for you!

You think reading is cool, but writing is even better.

Press releases, feature stories, spokesperson prep, media kits, etc. The list of platforms that a public relations professional (and student) will have to write throughout their career is lengthy. This isn’t any old email to a teacher; the major has the word relations in it for a reason. This means it is imperative to make your writing clear, concise and creative to communicate your message properly. Writing may not be the only aspect of this major but it is one of the most crucial aspects of being successful on your chosen career path.

You love stress…maybe a little too much

Public relations is one of the most fast-paced and stressful industries in America, clocking in second to commercial pilots. With deadlines, clients and campaigns all begging for your undivided attention, the work of a public relations professional can quickly become stressful. Even in the everyday life of a student juggling a challenging reporting class with a website design course, the challenges provided are sure to keep you on your feet. Although the saying about work and jobs goes, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life” with PR it can sometimes feel like “find what you love and let it kill you”. The constant challenges and satisfaction of a completed product makes all the stress, anxiety and trips to Starbucks worth it.

Sometimes you can’t pick exactly what hat you want to wear.

Choosing an outfit can be hard but choosing a career path can be even harder. As an indecisive person, things like choosing what to eat for dinner or even what color to paint my nails can cause turmoil and despair in my brain. Thankfully, public relations removes these hard decisions because with this degree you can truly do it all. Promoting a client, product or campaign incorporates advertising and marketing and keeping those clients images consistent uses brand management. Writing media and press releases that make a strategic impact and go straight to newspapers use a great deal of reporting and journalism while the skills required for pitching ideas, stories and campaigns incorporate the services of an experienced salesperson. You can wear all the hats in public relations and build a well-rounded skill set that is beneficial to whatever career path you find yourself on.

It takes a special type of person to work in PR. So if passion, creative insight, strong work ethic and individuality are just a few of the traits you have, then public relations could be the perfect major for you!

A PR Plan Fit For A Queen

Ask any of my family members, friends or even people I’ve talked to in line at the grocery store and they’ll tell you all about the amazing experiences I had studying IMG_3269abroad in London. This is mostly due to the fact that I couldn’t shut up about it for six months after because I had so many incredible memories to share with anyone that would (and sometimes wouldn’t) listen. Almost a year later, I am able to return to the city that I fell in love with and experience many of my favorite places all over again. Fortunately, when my mom came to visit me when I was studying abroad she fell in love just as hard as I did and this Spring Break we’ve planned a girls trip back to “The Big Smoke”. The best way to ensure a successful week abroad (especially in a city with so many opportunities like London), is having carefully thought out a plan and objectives! Here is my PR style plan for a successful and rejuvenating spring break in London.

Main goal:
The main goal of my weeklong frolic around London is simple: shop and eat. A lot. After spending a semester in this historic city I had all of the opportunities to experience the tourist attractions. Now, I have a long list of places to return to and more importantly, foods to eat again. Ultimately, I would like to experience some of my favorite London spots again, as well as, discover new gems, hopefully get in some relaxation and take in everything my favorite city in the world has to offer.

Since I had to take everything I learned to love about a city in a full semester and squeeze it into a week, planning objectives is an important aspect of a successful spring break plan. That being said, here are a few of my objectives I have set for my week in London:
IMG_2392Ingest an excessive amount of calories through delicious street food and market cuisine because vacation calories don’t count.
• Leave enough room in my suitcase for the unnecessary amount of new clothing, candy, skincare and other UK exclusives that are all coming home with me.
• Make wonderful memories with my mom that I can remind her of when she’s mad at me for spending all my (read: her) money at Target every week.
• Find the British man of my dreams, make him fall madly in love with me, get engaged, obtain a green card and move to London for the rest of my life. (Let a girl dream, ok)


Strategies and tactics: In reality, all but one of these objectives is relatively easy to achieve (like I’m actually going to be able to pack light, lets be honest). In order to achieve these goals I’m going to utilize my exceptional organization skills and make an Excel sheet filled with must visit restaurants and stores as well as neighborhoods and areas that need further exploring. London is HUGE so breaking it down by neighborhood and area is essential to vacation success.

IMG_2320Measure of success:
Keeping in mind that my experience in London this time around with my mom will be completely different than four months with my best friends, my expectations are realistic. I know that there won’t be any crazy nights out on the town or impromptu adventures during the week to celebrity’s houses, but I do know that a not being on a student budget in an expensive city like London is almost enough to make up for that. People always say going back to a place you hold so close to your heart is never the same, I truly believe that but I hope to make new memories that will only add to the old.

Hate To Love You: A Cynics Guide to Being Single on Valentine’s Day

Every holiday comes with it’s own cynics and haters and this Valentine’s Day should be no different. Whether you’re newly single, self-proclaimed “forever alone” or just focusing on you, don’t let the hustle and bustle of this Hallmark holiday get you down. Take this opportunity as the wonderfully single person you are to reflect on your negativity toward love and channel it into something useful, like realizing how much money you’re saving by only having to buy yourself ridiculous amounts of heart shaped candy. It’s time to break down the strengths and weaknesses through a SWOT analysis of being the single (and slightly cynical) person on Valentines Day, and why ordering a heart shaped pizza for one is always better than for two.



There are so many strengths to being single on Valentine’s Day it is hard to know where to begin. First and foremost, you only have to worry about yourself. There is no pressure to make your significant others gift bigger and better than last year, or the burden of the set dinner menu at a fancy restaurant downtown that’s way out of your price range anyway. You can do whatever you please, and if that’s sitting at home and watching reruns of “Keeping up with the Kardashians” all night than that’s your choice. Realize how self-sufficient you are and be proud of what you can accomplish on your own!




We’ve all been there before, the downward spiral starts with a uninvited Instagram post of a surprise Valentine’s Day puppy and ends with you crying into a pint of ice cream with The Notebook on repeat (cliché but you know its true). The Valentine’s Day feels can hit at any point and is a reoccurring weakness of the truly single out there. If the only way to beat them is to join them, then let yourself have a good cry about how torturous this Hallmark holiday is, put on some Beyoncé and get over it. Using your weaknesses to your advantage will only make you stronger, so accept that you’re sad, refocus and realize all of the strengths you have already.



The opportunities are endless on Valentines Day! You are free to do whatever your heart desires and there is no one to tie you down. Start with planning a full on “treat yo’ self” day and go from there. Buy yourself a facial and massage or finally order those perfect booties you’ve been lusting over. Once your other single friends see how much fun you’re having without a significant other they’ll want to join you immediately. Turn the day of unnecessary PDA and calorie dense chocolate into something productive and celebrate someone you truly love, yourself!




Valentine’s Day threats lurk around every corner. From being harassed by sappy commercials to couples thinking PDA is all of a sudden acceptable, threats to your sanity and happiness on Valentines Day are everywhere. Remain calm. Prepare yourself before the day comes and you’ll make it out alive. Plan exactly what you are going to do that day and stick to it. Don’t get overwhelmed by the pink and red and be thankful its only 24 hours of your life to deal with.

Remember, whether you are single and ready to mingle or happily tied down on Valentine’s Day, take the time to reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses and learn a little more about yourself!