An Open Letter to Incoming Members

First of all, congratulations on attending the best college EVER. There is something indescribable about Ohio University and Athens, OH that you don’t understand until you’re walking across these red bricks. But the next great choice you made was stopping by the PRSSA and ImPRessions booth at the Involvement Fair, or attending one of our info sessions; whatever brought you to our organization. You’re doing great so far, but there’s one last decision you have to make: whether to stick with our organization and really get involved, or cut it from the long list of things you tried out. I’m here to hopefully sway you toward the former.
IMG_6794            You won’t really begin taking classes specific to your major until spring of sophomore or fall of junior year. PRSSA and ImPRessions give you the opportunity to get hands-on experience and learn more about the field of public relations. When interviewing for internships, I talk more about my experience with this organization than I do about a class I’ve taken. It builds the foundation of your love for the work you’ll do for the rest of your life; and if you find out you aren’t passionate about it, you can change your mind without panicking.

If you haven’t already, you will soon learn of the magic that is the Bobcat family. Ohio University alumni will bend over backward for fellow bobcats. That same practice extends throughout PRSSA, but it isn’t just limited to OU. You can meet people from all different chapters willing to help you find an internship or a job, all because you’re a member of the same organization. Add that comradery to the Bobcat Blood, and you can basically get the job or internship of your dreams.

IMG_5364            We are so much more than a Monday-meeting group. Sure, you can show up each week, listen to the speaker and go home at night, no problem. But there is so much you will miss. Aside from the obviously beneficial networking trips, committees and national events, there are twice as many bonding experiences to bring you closer to the chapter and each other. Mentor/mentee events and socials introduce you to new people, and before you know it you’re studying for exams and going to the dining hall together. I met my absolute best friends at those Monday meetings, but our experiences extend much further.

I could talk until I’m blue in the face about why you should be a part of PRSSA and give your heart and soul to this organization, but blog posts are meant to be relatively short. So if you take anything away from this, let it be the experience, professional connections and friendships you will gain from our chapter. You’ve made great decisions up to this point, so why not keep it going?

erica_creative (2 of 3)

 

 

Erica Stonehill is a senior Strategic Communication major. She is also the Vice President of Scripps PRSSA. Follow her on Twitter @estonehill13.

Anything But Normal

Another summer has come and gone. As I sit back and reflect, I notice that it was a summer full of growth, both personally and professionally. I completed an internship in Cleveland, Ohio, working as a public relations intern for a one-of-a-kind company. My internship was with a family-owned and operated business called Bearded Buch that specializes in Kombucha. I’ve said my goodbyes, cleared my desk and perfected my resume, but now what?

I could express my newfound love for Kombucha, or joke about lunch breaks turned shopping trips, but the truth is I gained real-world experience within the past four months and I think that’s worth sharing.

I’ll start by saying that internships are tricky and the application process is exhausting. I applied anywhere and everywhere. I even applied for internships I knew I had no shot of getting. I wanted to be ambitious because I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. After some time, I finally had a company reach out to me. This company was Bearded Buch. I spoke with the owner through email, then phone and finally in person. Everything felt right. I knew I wanted to be a part of this company somehow, even if it was just as an intern.

IMG_2190

Little did I realize this internship was anything, but normal. On the first day, I was given the username and password to all social media accounts. I was the new voice of Bearded Buch and it felt great. As time passed, I learned how to differentiate my own voice from that of the company’s. I was no longer a 21-year-old girl, rambling about nonsense in less than 140 characters. Instead, I was an educated professional responding to complaints and suggestions from consumers. I didn’t always know what I was doing and there were times when I had to ask questions, but that’s when I learned the most.

I learned how to speak up and share my ideas. I learned how to give and take constructive criticism. I learned how to be professional in every sense of the word. But most importantly, I learned what is and isn’t interesting to me within the field of public relations, and that feels good.

If I can give any piece of advice to others, it would be to take chances. Be ambitious in your search. Don’t settle. Take yourself seriously. You’re just as important as the person sitting in the cubicle next to you. Ask questions, offer ideas and be passionate about your work.

Within the past four months, I learned all of these important lessons and I look forward to applying them to my life in the future.

Libby Headshot

 

 

Libby Bradford is a senior Strategic Communication major. She is also the VP of Member Relations for Scripps PRSSA. Look out for her friendly face at the first PRSSA meeting of this school year and follow her on Twitter @LibbyBradford.

5 Ways PR Nerds Love Differently

Have you stumbled into a relationship with a PR nerd? Lucky you! As a PR nerd myself, I have recognized a few ways that most of my PR pals love differently. Follow these insights to help understand your favorite PeRson!

A card or text with proper grammar gets our hearts going.

 As public relations professionals, we agonize over little details, particularly grammar. If you text us in AP style, we will keep you forever. Do you consistently use the wrong your/you’re? Well… it’s been fun.

For bonus points: try puns!

We swoon over preplanned dates.

The only thing we love more than you is our planner. Our days are booked from the time we wake up to the time we sleep. Don’t be surprised if you see “drink water” marked in our planners for 3pm. So if you plan a date in advance, we will be eternally grateful. However, we are used to a little craziness and multitasking now and then!

 Social media skills are a bonus.

Social media is another way to keep up with trends, promote our personal brand and share our last awesome date spot! However, it’s not just about the #wcw or #mcm, it’s about the number of impressions we can analyze after your crafty post.

Coffee is an acceptable gift. Always.

We may feel invincible, but take away our fuel (aka coffee), and we are nothing. Coffee is loved, cherished, and definitely an acceptable gift. For extra points make sure to know our regular order or favorite coffee spot!

We have analyzed your personal brand.

You may not know that you have a personal brand, but you do! We understand your favorite things and core personality traits. It’s our job to understand people. Did a PR nerd get you the perfect birthday present? This is why.

While PR nerds are a diverse and wild bunch, these points will hopefully give a good starting place to understand how and why many of us love differently! For more insight into your favorite PR pal, check their resume! You’ll be surprised how much a color choice and font can reveal! Or maybe only we think about that…

IMG_1080

 

 

Sammie Fisher is a junior Strategic Communication major. She is also the VP of Finance for Scripps PRSSA. Follow her on Twitter @sammiefisher3.

 

 

 

A Public Relations Major’s Guide to Moving Across the Country

It’s entirely possible that you will receive a phone call one day offering a job you can’t turn down. Luckily, I can help you make a smooth transition. Let’s get down to it!

  1. Make a moving list

Get out your sticky notes and color coded planner, it’s time to organize. Moving across the country seems like a huge task, but when you break it down, it can be much simpler. Some tasks you don’t want to forget on your list are packing, finding housing in your new location, budgeting your move and transportation for the relocation.

  1. Find a good coffee shop and pizza place

Nothing makes home feel more home-y than warm coffee in the morning and pizza for dinner (probably on the floor, because you haven’t put together your tables yet). Yelp and friends that are in the area can guide you, but I will tell you one thing: if you are moving to the West Coast, make sure you find a Philz near you. It’s the best coffee I’ve ever had.

  1. Be aware of your new time zone

Watching your favorite shows on television, scheduling phone dates with friends and setting up business meetings can all be ruined by one thing. Time zones are tricky, especially if you live in a state like Arizona, Indiana or Tennessee, which all have funky time zones. Be sure to be respectful of your new time zone and others’ sleep patterns when scheduling things!

  1. Don’t lose contact with your network

This is vital. Make sure that your network in your old location stays strong. Social media makes this easy, but going even further than that ensures that you will stay close in a special way. Ensuring that you have phone and Skype dates, send each other funny photos you find online and in general staying up to date is key. Your old network and friends won’t disappear if you don’t let them.

  1. Build a new network

While your old network is important, building a new one will enhance your experience in your new location. Try to find alumni events hosted by your university for an instant conversation starter. There also might be location specific events, such as Internapalooza. Internapalooza was an event held for Bay Area interns with many companies recruiting like Google, eBay, Dropbox and more. You should also begin to network within your own company. No matter how tired or busy you are, taking an hour to attend the after work event can seriously help. Even better, taking 15 minutes to get coffee with a colleague builds a relationship that you can rely on, on a daily basis.

  1. Have a “local moment”

At some point in your new home, you’ll have a “local moment.” Mine happened when I was at a popular tourist attraction in San Francisco. A family of tourists asked me if I knew anything about the area we were in, and since I had been there three times I was able to tell them about the area and some fun facts they might not necessarily have picked up on their own. Once you have a “local moment,” you’ll carry yourself down new streets with much more confidence.

Overall, it’s important to make the most of every life change. Moving can be difficult, especially moving cross country. If you follow these tips you’ll be on the right track to a successful transition!

gentry_creative (3 of 4)

 

Gentry Bennett is a senior Strategic Communication major with a Social Media certificate and Outdoor Recreation specialization. She is also the President of Scripps PRSSA. Follow her on Twitter @Gen__andTonic.

Online Personalities and Professionalism

“Once you put it online, it’s there forever…”

“Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your boss to see…”

We are relentlessly taught by mentors, professors, advisers and professionals to be careful of what we say online. Every tweet, snapchat, Facebook post and blog we publish is available for (almost) anyone to see. Which means we have to scrutinize everything we say for fear of one person misinterpreting our words, right?

I don’t think so.

Employers want to hire people who know how to act professionally – that’s a given. But they also want to hire people with personality. Would you rather share a cubicle with someone who has no decorations or someone who displays their love of the Cleveland Cavaliers through LeBron sticky notes and Kyrie pens? You’d probably choose the latter, unless you’re a Steph Curry fan – although getting a message accompanied by LeBron’s face could provide a great foundation for witty office banter.

Just as you decorate your workspace to reflect what you’re like in real life, your online personality should do the same. In fields such as PR and advertising, where creative thinking is of high value, it’s okay – and even admired – to act a little quirky. The sense of humor you show on social media could also be the talent that helps you write outstanding copy for your first assignment.

If you’re still wary about what you post, keep these things in mind:

Be respectful with the content you share. Into politics? That’s great! But instead of voicing your opinion by retweeting a potentially offensive political cartoon, share a link to an article that uses examples and facts to get your point across. It’s awesome to talk about your passions on social media – just do it in a way that is courteous to other viewpoints.

Think of your audience. Your Instagram followers would love to see a picture from your karaoke night, but that same post might look a little funny on LinkedIn. Different types of posts work with different audiences. Keep this in mind when deciding what to share.

Consider where you want to work. Do you see yourself at an edgy, forward-thinking company? Or do you prefer a more structured, traditional setting? The tone of your online personality should match your IRL lifestyle.

There are many fine lines when it comes to social media, but those lines are taking new shapes every day. Whether you’re online or in the real world, let your personality show!

whxxoptv6dnq

 

tiny headshot

 

 

Emily Barber is a senior studying Journalism-Strategic Communication. She is also the VP of External Relations for Scripps PRSSA. Follow her on Twitter @emilybarbershop.

4 Reasons to Attend PRSSA National Conference

Attending last year’s PRSSA National Conference is one of the best decisions I’ve made—second only to my choice to come to OU, of course. As if learning more in 5 days than I could in a semester of class, and networking with countless PR pros and PRSSA members from across the country wasn’t enough, I also grew to love my fellow Scripps members as family and had the opportunity to explore a new city.

Yes the cost may seem daunting to “broke college kids” like us, but the benefits far outweigh the price. Besides, we shouldn’t put a price on furthering our careers. In case you haven’t heard those of us who went last year talk about it enough, here are 4 reasons you should join us in Indianapolis for this year’s National Conference.

  1. The ride there is almost more fun than the conference itself.

Last year, we travelled the 14-hours to Atlanta, GA, in a 12-person van driven by none other than then-President Jess Carnprobst. Stuffed to the brim with luggage, snacks and excited girls, the van was full of laughter and Justin Bieber songs the entire time. Do you feel apprehensive because you don’t know everyone in the van? After about an hour, I promise you will be just like family. The ride gives you plenty of time to get to know one another and create hilarious lasting memories (London, KY anyone?)

IMG_0530

  1. Just about everyone in the entire hotel is a PRSSA member, and they’re eager to meet you.

I’ve always felt the most at home on OU’s campus because there are thousands of young people just like myself milling around. At PRSSANC, that feeling is always stronger because everyone is a PR nerd just like me. The moment we walked into the hotel, we were welcomed by members from Arkansas. Throughout your time in Indianapolis you will meet many young professionals. Don’t forget to connect on LinkedIn and Twitter—you may need them someday.

IMG_0546

  1. With plenty of diverse sessions, you’re sure to find what interests you.

Whether you come to the conference knowing exactly what you’d like to do in the future or you’re still working to find what’s right, the sessions will help you begin to figure it out. They give you opportunities to learn about the various sectors of PR from super successful professionals. The sessions cover the basics like the perfect pitch, expert media relations and they go even more into depth on crisis communications and the future of social media. Take a look at the program here (http://prssa.prsa.org/events/Conference/Program/).

IMG_1816

  1. You will be buzzing full of creative ideas and inspiration after.

Hearing speaker after speaker offering up new insights, asking your own in-depth questions, really taking the time to consider your future and discussing these unique ideas with fellow members will leave you refreshed and ready to take on the rest of your schooling and time in PRSSA. There is much to be said about new and refreshing takes on old ideas. While classes teach us, PRSSANC and PRSSA meetings allow us to shape our future careers.

PRSSA National Conference provides you with inspiring insights from PRos, a network of PRSSA members across the country, new best friends and countless incredible memories that will last a lifetime.

Do I have you convinced? Register here (http://prssa.prsa.org/events/Conference/Register/) by Friday September 16. Still not sure? Feel free to email me or any Eboard member for more details.

IMG_1743

 

Taylor Dilley is a junior studying Journalism-Strategic Communication. She is also the VP of Social Media for Scripps PRSSA. Follow her on Twitter @Taylor_Dilley.

5 Ways to Keep Building Your Resume Even if You Don’t Have an Internship This Summer

Well Bobcats, we’re one month into summer ‘16 and some of us are itching to add valuable skills and experiences to our resumes. For those people who have public relations related internships, resume builders may not be too hard to come by. For those who do not, it is more important than ever to build your skill set and keep learning and growing while there is no pressure of a full course load breathing down our necks. Here are five surefire ways to build your resume and add pieces to your portfolio this summer.

giphy

Blog for PRSSA and ImPRessions and write for PR Success

You’ve heard this time and time again ladies and gentleman, but you can never be too good at writing. Nobody is perfect and even the best writers in the world are always looking to improve. That being said, we have a few wonderful outlets that allow you to go through the process of coming up with a topic and writing a blog or article, but with much less pressure. Scripps PRSSA and ImPRessions would love for any and all OU students who are looking for writing experience to blog for our websites and write for PR Success, our newsletter! In this case, an executive board member will read your blog or article, edit it and give you tips to improve in the future before publishing it. How cool would it be to say that you were a contributing writer for a newsletter that is seen by members and alumni of PRSSA all over the nation!? This opportunity will also help you build experience writing for an eclectic audience.

Create and write your own blogs

I would urge any and everyone to make their own blog site at some point during their college career. There is nothing more exciting than getting to write about whatever topics you choose, designing your website so it looks the way you want it to and promoting yourself on social media. It’s really such a rush! This is also a place where you can add writing samples and your resume. You won’t regret it and you’ll only have to write as much or as often as you’d like. Here’s the perfect chance to show your creativity.

Learn how to use the social media tools available for free online

Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Google Analytics are just a few of many free online tools that help with social media organization, branding and analyzing. These hard skills are extremely valuable when looking for a job or internship in the future. Gain some experience working with these types of programs while you have the time so that you can speak to this skill set during interviews later on down the road.

Shadow a professional for a day

While contacting a professional to ask if you can shadow them for a day or throughout the summer may sound a little intimidating, it is a sure way to gain insight into an industry or type of company you may be interested in. Scripps alumni are always looking to help Bobcats! All it takes is a few emails and I guarantee you, someone will be more than willing to take you under their wing.

Find a job PR related or not

Having a summer job of any kind is a resume booster! Future employers like to know that you work well with others and know how to keep up in a fast paced environment regardless of what it is that you are doing. You can learn soft skills from any job such as communication, organization, time management, working on teams, etc. Another big upside of having a summer job is that, if you leave on good terms, your boss will allow you to use them as a reference for employers to call down the line and they’ll be happy to put in a good word for you!
Not finding a summer internship can be extremely frustrating, but there are more ways to keep learning and expanding your knowledge completely on your own! If you ever want to learn more about writing opportunities for Scripps PRSSA, please don’t hesitate to reach out to an executive board member. Make this summer about the beach, the sun and turning yourself into a PR Star! Ready, set, LEARN!

Headshot Jennica 1

 

Jennica Lurie is a senior studying Journalism-Strategic Communication. She is also the VP of PR for Scripps PRSSA. If you would like to learn more about getting involved with writing for the PRSSA blog or PR Success email her at jl390412@ohio.edu. Follow her on Twitter @jennicalurie.

 

 

 

How to Spice Up Your Social Media Game This Summer

If your internship involves drafting social media content, you may already be running out of ideas on how to keep things interesting for the summer. It is easy to get in the habit of posting similar content day after day. But never fear ¾ here are 10 ideas for keeping your social media accounts interesting and engaging all summer long!

  1. Use GIFs and images

Posting content with engaging GIFs or images is pretty much guaranteed to not only make your social media look more appealing, but increase engagement. Twitter makes using GIFs super easy by having tons of options available.

  1. Take advantage of Twitter polls

Twitter polls are a great way to engage with your Twitter followers! Not only are they fun, they are also a great way to get feedback from followers or allow followers to have input on a future decision for your company.

  1. Try out Facebook Live

Facebook Live is fairly new, so for those of you who don’t know, it allows users to live broadcast video to their friends. This is a super cool way to spice up your Facebook feed! If you have an event coming up, Facebook Live is a great way to share the event with Facebook friends who couldn’t be there in person, and the broadcast remains on your Facebook profile after the live broadcast, allowing friends to watch the video later.

  1. Relate content to holidays

By relating social media posts or campaigns to an upcoming holiday, posts can gain a lot of attention. Try relating content to summer holidays like Father’s Day or Independence Day! Look up lists of national holidays too, like National Best Friends Day happening on June 8.

  1. Use re-occurring hashtags as a campaign like #TBT

Consistency is key for this one. Posting on the same day every week will give followers something to look forward to, making these posts popular week to week. It is important not to overkill this idea though. Posting a daily hashtag (#WBW, #TBT, #FBF), everyday will get annoying very quickly.

  1. Run giveaways/contests

People love free stuff, and even if your funds are low, you can always find inexpensive giveaways at the local dollar or discount store. By having people follow, retweet and tag friends for giveaways, you can gain many followers quickly.

  1. Tag other accounts

This is one of the easiest ways to spice up your social media, yet many people forget or overlook it! Tagging other accounts will often get those accounts to repost/retweet your content allowing their followers to see your content.

  1. Create infographics

Who doesn’t like a nice infographic? Infographics (using pictures to show data) are a great way to push content that could otherwise come across as boring. Making statistics into infographics makes followers want to actually look at the information (and they will be able to easily understand it!)

  1. Offer behind-the-scenes information/pictures

Behind-the-scenes content offers a new perspective to followers, but more importantly, it can draw new fans that feel they are part of a special group getting exclusive updates and information.

  1. Don’t preschedule all content

It is very easy to get in the habit of prescheduling all social media content ¾ DON’T! Allow yourself time to think of things on the spot, get inspired by what is happening on a given day, or post something silly that your followers can laugh at too.

DSC02335 copy

 

 

Natalie Butko is a sophomore majoring in Journalism-Strategic Communication. Follow her on Twitter @chatty__natty.

The Power of Being Present

We’ve all heard the speeches about what ‘professionalism’ means, but how seriously do we take that advice? The better question may be; do we even apply the words of wisdom? Regardless of your major or profession or career, you have to have some standards of professionalism. Even clowns have to arrive on time for their act.

However, we interact with people everyday who don’t adhere to some basic norms that should be followed by all professionals, both young and old. The truth is that people notice when you follow simple norms, and they can make a huge difference in the success of your aspirations.

As PR professionals, we are competing with thousands of other students for the same positions around the country, and even in our little bubble of Scripps, we are competing with our fellow classmates for executive positions in organizations. Focus on the basics, act on them, and see how far they can take you.

The biggest action you can take is just being present. We all know that sometimes the weather drains our mood, but pull out the rain gear and make the trek. Being present is one of the best ways to get noticed. People will begin to recognize your face.

Taking it to the next level on being present means asking questions and participating in conversation. Put away the phones and laptops and be present in the conversations and talks that are happening right in front of you. People will notice the more you participate, even if you’re just paying more attention than the person who’s on Twitter. It’s okay to not have an academy award winning comment; articulation comes with practice.

Being present includes pulling your end of the bargain when it comes to work distribution. We all know how annoying that one person is during group projects that never shows up and does maybe 5 percent of the total workload. Pull your weight and if you’re able to, ask what more there is for you to do or how else you can help. Employers will especially appreciate your willingness to take on a little extra. Being around to take on these extra responsibilities is important because you can’t volunteer if you’re hiding in the bathroom.

Be sure to be present digitally as well. When someone sends you a personal email, respond to it, even if you are only letting them know you received it. This demonstrates your willingness to communicate frequently and this way, the person doesn’t have to worry about whether or not you saw it.

Taking these small steps to make yourself more present will make heads turn your way and your name will begin circulating among students and professionals alike. When people say ‘you get out of it what you put in,’ they truly mean it. Being present will begin that process of slowly putting more in so you can reap more benefits.

 

austin_creative (3 of 3)

 

 

Austin Ambrose is a senior majoring in Journalism with an English minor. He is also the CEO of ImPRessions. Follow him on Twitter @tex_ambrose7.

Anonymous Apps: Worth the Risk?

Social media platforms continue to amaze us with their ability to help make, maintain and build connections. Extensive friend lists and followers are always there to listen to our ramblings and reply. But what about the apps that give no attachment to a username? Anonymous apps provide a unique outlet for users and new opportunities for brands, but they can also have a negative impact.

Some of the most popular anonymous apps include Whisper, Secret and Yik Yak. The majority of users are high school and college-aged, and posts typically consist of silly confessions, complaints and comments on current events. They are great for getting things off your chest or sharing opinions you wouldn’t necessarily reveal under other circumstances.

However, not all unidentified posts are harmless. Just before the spring semester ended at Ohio University, police officials received information of a video threatening American students posted to location-based app, Yeti. Although police eventually concluded the post was not targeted at Athens, Ohio, all public schools in the area were closed and Ohio University officials took extra security measures.

This type of material is not uncommon for such apps. Multiple suicides have been linked to abuse on Ask.fm, a site where users ask questions and receive anonymous answers, according to NoBullying.com. While cyber bullying can occur on all social media platforms, anonymous apps allow users to say whatever they want with no repercussions to themselves.

These incidents have parents and teachers worried and are even enough to keep brands wary of getting involved. Using such a controversial app poses a risk to a brand’s image and trustworthiness. There are also ethical concerns with brands joining anonymous apps. Since it is impossible to identify the user, it would be all too easy for companies to pose as excited customers, talk negatively about a competitor or give untruthful information about their own products or that of a competitor’s.

But not all companies are shying away from the opportunity. Some platforms, such as Whisper, offer advertising opportunities. Brands and companies are able to identify themselves and associate any messaging they put out with the brand. MTV took advantage of this to promote its show ‘Virgin Territory.’ Most users of anonymous apps are between the ages of 18-24, the perfect target audience for MTV and other companies marketing to young millennials.

Anonymous Apps

This post aligns closely with native advertising in that it looks like an average user’s comment until you realize it’s sponsored by MTV. By using similar themes and language to typical Whisper users, MTV does a good job of making their content fit within the app.

Whisper also recently launched a polling function, which allows users to give their opinions on everything from late night snacks to civil rights. Brands can then purchase the results. The empowerment users feel from remaining nameless may work towards the benefit of brands looking to gain thoughts on controversial or secretive topics.

The username is centric to basically all of our favorite social networks. We tweet at each other’s handles, ask people to follow our Instagrams and share our Snapchat names with all of our new friends. Removing this norm brings chaos to the social media world, but for some, it might just be worth the risk.

How do you feel about anonymous apps? Let us know!

tiny headshot

 

Emily Barber is a senior majoring in Journalism-Strategic Communication, minoring in Marketing and receiving the Social Media Certificate. She is also the VP of External Relations for Scripps PRSSA. Follow her on Twitter @emilybarbershop.