A Letter to PR Students

Why Public Relations? A Message of Encouragement

I’ll keep this short, sweet and to the point. The typical public relations practitioner is not notorious for having a remarkably high level of income. Some vocations – like software programming or engineering – allow for more fiscally rewarding entry-level prospects than public relations, but lack the certain “je ne sais quoi” that makes public relations the best preparatory profession for learners and leaders. Why should you immerse yourself in a public relations education? I’ll tell you:

We are perfectly equipped to impact real change in the many communities we populate. As public relations practitioners, we aren’t just members of the working world, we’re a driving force behind trend cultures and the interpretation of societal issues. Being in public relations is about crafting and honing the narrative, whether it is in an advocacy or consumer-facing setting. Who doesn’t want to be known as one of the world’s best storytellers?

A well-trained public relations practitioner is the model professional. We know how to express our thoughts with eloquence and handle difficult situations with tact. We understand markets, business models and client needs. We can see the big picture and can deconstruct it down into a well-fashioned strategic plan. We’re capable, but are team players and have no problem sharing our victories. We are invested in the outcomes and real-world impact of our work.
My message to prospective or burgeoning public relations students is simple: stay the course and reap the benefits of the craft. The hours are long, the work is tedious and, initially, the pay may seem unsatisfactory. However, there is no other profession that will teach you growth the way this one does. We are soon to be the new professionals and, as the future of the industry, we owe it to our friends, our mentors and future selves to do our jobs passionately. Act ethically, work hard and learn as much as you can; one day, that paycheck will be representative of your perseverance and devotion.

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Gary Bridgens is the PRSSA National vice president of Chapter development and a senior at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. Follow him on Twitter @garingiscaringconnect with him on LinkedIn or email him at garybridgens@gmail.com.

#ScrippsSummerChallenge Week 4 Recap

Week 4 of our #ScrippsSummerChallenge has come and gone, but we have all the highlights right here! Last week’s challenge was to create a personal blog and write a kick-off post. Members that already had a blog were asked to either write a new post about the benefits of blogging or share their blogging tips, tricks and/or questions, once again using the hashtag #ScrippsSummerChallenge .

Here are a few of the responses we received:

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Sam Miller (@keepcalmsam14) reached out to members for advice on blogging topics. Check out some responses she was given:

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Along with these awesome tweets, Gentry Bennett wrote a short post about her own blogging endeavors. Read it here, https://findingthelining.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/scrippssummerchallenge-2015/

Don’t stop blogging just because the challenge has passed! Personal blogs are a great way to build writing samples and express your opinions on topics ranging from current events and political issues, to the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars or the most recent One Direction gossip (did you hear Louis is going to be a dad?). We love reading your posts, so keep on sharing!

As for Week 5 of the #ScrippsSummerChallenge , we’re asking you to create your own LinkedIn profile (if you don’t already have one) and connect with five other members of our chapter. Tweet us using that trusty hashtag and let us know who you connected with!

** Don’t forget that the member who participates in the most challenges will receive TWO FREE MEAL VOUCHERS towards any post-meeting dinner. 

New Executive Board Spotlight: VP Of Public Relations Elise Mills

Introducing the 2105- 2016…

VP of Public Relations Elise Mills

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Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

Studying: Strategic Communications with Business administration minor and Social Media Specialization.

Favorite Part about OU: My favorite thing about OU is that you can walk anywhere on campus and run into at least one person you know. No matter how many people attend OU , you can always find a friend.

Favorite Word to Describe yourself: Vivacious

What are you most excited for in the 2015-2016 School year?: I’ve spent two years gathering all sorts of tips and tricks for the PR world, and I can’t wait to share them with the incoming class!

Follow Elise on Twitter @itsELISElove!

What Clueless taught me about PR

By Vanessa Copetas

As a huge Clueless fan and a wannabe Cher Horowitz, it’s safe to say I’ve seen the movie a large number of times. However, as a student going into the PR field, what many people don’t realize is that Cher also uses some great techniques that can help anyone in PR.

Dress for success

Cher is the epitome of a fashionista. Cher rocks a signature style and knows it is crucial to look you’re best, regardless of the situation. Whether she’s getting ready for a party or just picking an outfit for class, she knows that people viewing you positively is necessary to be successful. In public relations, your first impression should be a good one and the easiest way to convey this is in what you’re wearing.

Life is all about negotiations anigif_enhanced-3637-1408823115-11 When Cher’s grades were….not up to par, she didn’t let one bad grade ruin her. Cher did extra work (and exaggerated a bit) and in the end, she earned the result she wanted. In PR it’s crucial to use 100% of your effort in all aspects. As humans, we’re bound to make mistakes but a bump in the road doesn’t have to ruin a potential client, recovering from a mistake can heal a situation as long as you keep at it.

  It isn’t JUST about who you know or who you are

  Hard work pays off! Sure, we’ve all heard that lecture from teachers, parents and other speakers for 18+ years, but it’s true! While it seems like today it’s easy to forgo any work given what your last name is, that is not always the case. Despite being the daughter of a rich lawyer and having everything handed to her, Cher still is unable to pass her driving test because she did not work on safe driving. Just like Cher, it’s impossible to be successful in PR if we don’t work hard and learn from our mistakes. Despite who we are or who we know, it is impossible to improve as a PR professional if we don’t work.

Don’t turn down a job despite how hard it may seem

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In order to help her two teachers find love (which will ultimately raise her grades), Cher attempts to set them up. While the task at hand seems daunting and takes up time, Cher knows it will benefit her in the future. While some necessary work with PR may seem tedious, remember that completing it will help you become more successful and bring you one step closer to your goal.

Being seasoned may have its benefits

Cher goes out of her way to befriend a transfer student named Tai. Cher helps her navigate through the school, offers her advice, Tai learns from Cher and in the end she fits in with other students in the school. In PR we focus on our clients, it’s crucial for us to give the best service possible. In some cases, older can be wiser and those who have been in PR a few years have the potential to help and give great advice. Be sure to listen to advice your more seasoned coworkers may have, you never know which coworker who can turn into a mentor!

But there is always more to learn

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While Cher begins as a know-it-all judgmental teenager, she learns with help from Tai, to not judge a book by its cover. In PR, we may find different social media outlets that benefit us or new tools that seasoned professionals may not know about or want to use. Your superiors may have more experience, but don’t be afraid to speak up if you have knowledge or ideas to share. Overall, Clueless focuses on both Tai and Cher learning off of each other and different situations. Remember that PR is an ever-growing field and there’s always more to learn! With experience, time and the advice from others we can all learn something new, and use our knowledge to help improve ourselves as (budding) PR professionals.

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Vanessa Copetas is a Sophomore studying Strategic Communications with a minor in News and Information. Follow her on Twitter @vanessa_copetas!

#ScrippsSummerChallenge Week 3 Recap

The third week of the #ScrippsSummerChallenge has ended, but fear not! If you missed it you can join in this week’s challenge: Start a blog!

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If you don’t already have one: share the new link with @ScrippsPRSSA! If you do already have one: Tell us what benefits you’ve gotten from blogging, or why you love it!

Blogging gives you a chance to express your feelings, expand your portfolio, and have a creative outlet for your obsession with all things Taco Bell. All you need is internet access and fifteen minutes!

For the Week 3 challenge, we asked you to send thank you notes to your favorite professor or mentor! Here are some of the responses we have received:

Thanks to all who participated and make sure to use #ScrippsSummerChallenge!

New Executive Board Spotlight: Executive Vice President Megan Newton

Introducing the 2015-2016…

Executive Vice President Megan Newton

IMG_4459Hometown: Aurora, Ohio

Studying: Strategic Communication major, with a dual specialization in Anthropology and Music Business

Favorite part about OU: The whole college experience that comes along with being a bobcat. I’ve never felt so at home in a place as I do at Ohio University. The people, professors and opportunities have been the most encouraging ones I’ve ever encountered.

Favorite Word to describe yourself: Passionate Storyteller

What are you most excited about for the 2015-2106 School year?: I am most excited about the opportunities we have as an exec board to make this year the best one for Scripps PRSSA yet. We’ve learned from the best, and now it’s time to give back to the chapter. I cannot wait to see all of the great things the entire group will do this year.

 Follow Megan on Twitter @_megannewton!

Red, White & PR

Everywhere you look you see the combinations of red, white and blue. The boom and crackling of fireworks, ringing in your ears, and you smell the different foods of the season. Welcome to fourth of July weekend.

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July fourth brings excitement to many for several different reasons.

Some people wake up Saturday morning on Fourth of July weekend with anticipation for the day’s activities of picnics, festivals, food, fun, games and fireworks. Kent, Ohio holds an annual Heritage Festival every year during all of Saturday on Fourth of July weekend. Social media accounts in Kent are always full of posts about the event during this time

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Some people look forward to Fourth of July weekend to drink and have a good time. Being one of the biggest drinking weekends of the year, many alcohol brands plan ahead to come up with an eye catching advertisements and social media posts in order to garner attention during this patriotic weekend.

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Some people love the weekend for the sales that are all around the country. Many stores including American Eagle, Kate Spade, Best Buy, and Lowes prep for the craziness that comes with working on July Fourth weekend. With people pouring in and out of stores while celebrating America’s Independence with a new pair of shoes or a new purse, the extreme mark down sales brings Americans in every year.

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Along with the Fourth of July sales comes Fourth of July decorations. Throughout the summer everywhere you turn, especially with the country music in its peak season, you will see lots of stars and stripes, especially on instagram. Retail stores around the country are constantly getting in new apparel to represent our country from shoes to crazy pants to fun accessories. Fourth of July will always be a proud time of year for Americans across the country to express their pride in being an American by wearing their flag proudly! Just because July Fourth has passed, doesn’t mean the fun has to end. Go out and wear your stars and stripes with pride, and have some fun in the sun. I know I am still reppin’ my patriotic attire!

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Rosie Haren is a Junior studying Strategic Communications with a minor in Marketing and a Social Media Certificate. After graduation she would like to work at a small PR agency and eventually go to Grad School. Follow her on twitter @rosieharen!

#ScrippsSummerChallenge Week 2 Recap

The second week of the Scripps Summer Challenge is now over and there’s a lot of excitement about the PRSSA National Conference in November.

National Conference will be in Atlanta, Georgia, and as you can see from some of the tweets, there is going to be some amazing speakers and sessions!!! (Hint: you’ll be hearing from the VP of Public Affairs and Communications at Coca Cola) Atlanta’s an exciting city with so much to do, so we can’t wait to travel there with you all! Stay tuned for details about transportation, hotel accommodation and logistics.

ScrippsSummerChallenge week 2

This week, your challenge is to send a thank you note to a mentor or professor. It’s easy to lose touch over the summer, so take a minute out of your week to send a quick thank you then let us know who you sent it to using the hashtag!

Easy Ways to Boost Your Resumes

It’s the time of year to be soaking up the summer rays, relaxing on vacation, and of course building up those ever-changing resumes! Summer is a great time to go back through and really optimize the limited space to display your skills.

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Here are four tips to make sure your PR resume does its job so you can get one!

Get rid of all high school achievements

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Luckily for most of us, our high school achievements don’t really come into play when it comes to getting a job in college. Especially if you’re a year or more out of high school, there are plenty of other things you can talk about. Unless you’ve accomplished something jaw-dropping or on a national level, it’s best to leave it off your resume.

Eliminate clutter

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Too many words packed onto one page can be overwhelming to a future employer. Eliminate any unnecessary information and words that are taking up space on your resume. Many employers say that they can look at a resume for less than 15 seconds before deciding if they move on to the next round, or get put aside. Look at your resume from the employer’s standpoint and think about what you would want to see. Use strong concrete verbs to describe your jobs and numbers when possible.

Link your social media accounts

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A PR pro can’t survive without a full understanding of all social media platforms. Show your potential employer instead of telling them. A link to your blog, personal website and social media accounts will stand out over a resume that says that you are into social media. Summer is a great time to get those blogs and websites running and up to date.

Add to your skills

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Summer is a great time to boost the skills section of your resume. It’s the time to learn things that interest you and can help decide what kind of job you want in the future. You can learn to code websites (with free programs like http://www.codeacdemy.com), get INbound certified, learn different media platforms and even brush up on AP Style. Having your own blog is a great hobby to keep up with that and is useful to your professional career. It’s a great way to show employers you have stellar writing skills.

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Use this time away from college to learn something that you are passionate about, it will translate on your resume! Hopefully these tips have helped you better craft your resume in order to land your dream job or internship!

 

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Allison Arnold is a sophomore studying Strategic Communication with a minor in business administration, retail merchandising, and fashion product development. After graduation she wants to go into corporate PR. Follow her on Twitter at @allison_arnoldd!

#ScrippsSummerChallenge Week 1 Recap

We came, we tweeted and we conquered the first week of our #ScrippsSummerChallenge. To kick of the 2015 series, we asked our members to choose an online certification to complete over the next eight weeks. The hope for this particular challenge was to motivate members to obtain that certification they’ve been talking about getting for months. Check out a few of the programs our members will be looking to master over the next few weeks:

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Interested in checking out one of these programs? Follow these links for more information:

http://www.codecademy.com/

http://academy.hubspot.com/certification

http://www.google.com/analytics/learn/index.html

We will be checking back in at the end of the series to see who actually completed their certification. If you didn’t participate in last week’s challenge, don’t worry! Pick a program and join the fun!

Be sure to join in on this week’s challenge. We want to hear what part of National Conference you’re most excited for!