How to Learn Social Media Analytics in Four Weeks

You can easily learn social media analytics in just a month. Whether it’s part of your five-year plan, New Year’s resolution or just something to do over a break from school, social media analytics skills beef up your resume! The ability to analyze data is easier than you think. Here are four steps to start your journey!

  1. Start by signing up for free trials or analyzing your personal social media for free

Finding out how many impressions your personal Twitter account garners every month is as easy as typing “analytics.twitter.com” into your browser. Sign up and see how much your account can do! YouTube is a great resource for figuring out how to use any analytics platform, but I’ve picked out this one for Twitter analytics specifically:

  1. Dive a little deeper by getting a certification

Love analytics and want to show it off? Check out certificate programs like Google Analytics and Hubspot for a quick and fun way to show off your learning. After passing a few tests, you’ll get a badge for your LinkedIn page and a full page certificate. Make sure you add it to your resume!

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  1. Try and analyze a company’s social media

Now, think of your favorite brand. How are they performing against their competitor? You can’t necessarily deep dive (unless you happen to have their password!), but you can look at their activity to see how they are doing. How does this compare to when you analyzed your personal social media?

The biggest lesson here is to think about how much you enjoyed this. Could you do it as a career? If so, look into internships in social media & analysis!

  1. Make a plan for your future with social media analytics

If you didn’t finish your certificate program, or if you want to nail that social media internship- make a plan! Plans are vital. Time everything out and make sure that you can stick to it (of course there will be a few bumps along the way).

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Overall, social media analytics fluency is just four weeks away! Follow these four steps for a guide on how to start your journey to a potential future career.

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Gentry Bennett is a senior strategic communication major. She is also the President of Scripps PRSSA. Follow her on Twitter @Gen_andTonic!

PRSSA National Conference Key Takeaways

As you may have read from a previous blog recapping PRSSA National Conference, written by Maura Anderson, 18 members of Scripps PRSSA experienced an event unrivaled in the world of pre-professional PR. Participants got to experience breakout sessions from brands like Vera Bradley and Warner Bros., as well as listen to legendary keynotes given by Derreck Kayango, CEO of the Center for Civil and Human Rights and founder of the Global Soap Project, and Scott Kelly, a NASA Astronaut who just returned from his year in space. These are just a few of the amazing speakers that attendees got to experience.

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Now that the semester is winding down and it has been just over a month since the conclusion of PRSSA National Conference in Indianapolis, I asked this year’s attendees from Scripps PRSSA and ImPRessions, Ohio University’s student run PR firm, what they would consider their biggest takeaway from the weekend long event. Here is what I found out:

Gentry Bennett, Scripps PRSSA President, Senior

“When you transition from an intern to a full time employee, the hardest part is convincing yourself that you are more than an intern. The company hired you full time, so that’s how they will treat you!”

Emily Barber, VP of External Relations for Scripps PRSSA, Senior

“National Conference made me feel one hundred times more prepared for post-grad life. Between resume critiques, learning about awesome companies, networking and growing closer with my PRSSA family, I could not be more excited to put my PR knowledge to use!” 

Annie Robinson, Director of Cultural Engagement for ImPRessions, Junior

“The PRSSANC session on becoming an authentic leader by David Grossman gave me a new outlook on my future career and the way I see myself. He taught us the power of becoming true to yourself through his own personal life trials. It not only taught me a new way to become an effective leader but affirmed my belief in the power of authentic story telling.” 

Austin Ambrose, CEO of ImPRessions, Senior

“Conference reminded me just how diverse the field of public relations truly is, but that we are an evolving field that needs to work every day to stay with the times and breakthrough the noise. There are so many talented and innovative people in our industry, and they are the future of communications.”

Rosie Haren, VP of Social Affairs for Scripps PRSSA, Senior

“My key takeaway is to take advantage of all the opportunities you have! I had the opportunity of going to national conference because I chose to become a dues paying member of PRSSA and I got to engage with a lot of industry professionals and get my resume critiqued because I went to national conference! And I got to see the amazing city of Indianapolis!”

Brigitte Meisse, Dues-Paying Member of Scripps PRSSA, Sophomore

“The main thing that I got out of national conference would have been the confidence/reassurance that I can connect with anyone whether it be other PRSSA members from across the nation, or even some of the professionals I admire the most. Everyone in this field is beyond ready to serve as a resource and join your network.”

Alyssa Murtagh, Account Executive for ImPRessions, Sophomore

“National Conference taught me that I am going to grow in this field just as I have grown in life. This was my second year attending; and I noticed that I was less nervous, more willing to network with others and even more enthusiastic about public relations. And, of course, I was reminded that Scripps PRSSA really is the best Chapter!”

Emily O’Flynn, Account Executive for ImPRessions, Sophomore

“PRSSA National Conference gave me the opportunity to learn about so many different aspects of public relations, as well as becoming closer with other students in my Chapter. The best thing I learned was the importance of networking and how it can influence your future in the field.”

Sara Defibaugh, Dues-Paying Member of Scripps PRSSA, Junior

“The 2016 PRSSA National Conference taught me that the skills you have to offer can be sharpened and then used towards whatever your passions are. Each professional, no matter what their passions are, instilled motivation in me to continue pursing my passions and to do better and be better. 10/10 I will definitely be going again.

Natalie Butko, Account Executive for ImPRessions, Sophomore

“National conference showed me how competitive the PR field is. This was great to see because I now know how hard I must work to be successful! The conference was full of information and inspiration on how to make a successful PR career.”

Maura Anderson, Dues-Paying Member of Scripps PRSSA, Sophomore

“My key takeaway from national conference is to keep an open mind. You never know what will end up working, what you’ll enjoy, or whose ideas would improve your own if you don’t give everything a chance.”

Elise Mills, VP of Visual Communication for Scripps PRSSA, Senior

“You get out of public relations what you put into it. Having connections can land you your first job, but it is up to you to keep it!”

Sammie Fisher, VP of Finance for PRSSA and VP of Consulting for ImPRessions, Junior

“The biggest thing I learned from PRSSANC is that data driven decisions are key, and the way we prove our worth is by changing. I’m on a quest to make sure that I’m an accurate measurer and provide innovative data for all my future projects and clients.”

Taylor Dilley, VP of Social Media for Scripps PRSSA, Junior

“Always be authentic. It can be so easy in our line of work to get caught up in making the most of everything. Don’t be afraid to just be you. Also, network in every corner. I met a great contact just by reaching out to talk on the escalator. Always be outgoing!”

Schuyler Morris, Dues-Paying Member of Scripps PRSSA, Sophomore

“PRSSA National Conference was extremely inspiring. I came away with a better idea of what PR encompasses and I know this is a career for me.”

Jennica Lurie, VP of Public Relations for Scripps PRSSA, Senior

“There is no feeling like attending a conference where so many people have the same drive and passions as you do. It was intimidating no doubt, but my biggest takeaway was that by attending this conference we had the opportunity to learn and grow as soon-to-be PR professionals and that on its own will carry us so far as an industry.”

Sadie Newman, Dues-Paying Member of Scripps PRSSA and ImPRessions, Sophomore

“PRSSA National Conference was my favorite part of my first semester this year. I had the opportunity to network with both my fellow bobcats as well as students from around the country. I was able to listen to speakers discuss their professional careers and encourage us, as students, to work hard so we can also be successful. My greatest take away, however, would have to be my new opinion on passion in one’s career. Those who succeed professionally succeed because of their extreme passion for what they do. Now, after conference, I have taken that passion and let it fuel what I do and who I want to become. I am so thankful to have been able to attend PRSSA national conference.”
Allison Arnold, Junior Executive VP of ImPRessions, Junior
 “National conference is where I have learned the most about public relations. No class is able to give students such vast knowledge on the industry. It’s so beneficial for students to hear current professionals’ experiences and learn from them before going into the real world.”
If this doesn’t show you how great national conference is or convince you to attend next year, you might be interested in attending a smaller scale convention. Scripps PRSSA will be attending Regional Conference in Chapel Hill on Feb 24-25. Feel free to reach out to any of the National Conference attendees and ask them about anything regarding either conference!

We’re thankful to have amazing members here at Scripps PRSSA and we know the future is bright for all of our members!

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Jennica Lurie is a senior strategic communications major. She is also the VP or Public Relations for Scripps PRSSA. If you any questions about blogging, National Conference or Regional Conference feel free to email her at jl390412@ohio.edu and follow her on Twitter @jennicalurie!

How Social Media is Changing the Game for Local Shops

It’s a big week! We’ll stuff ourselves silly on Thursday with Thanksgiving food galore, then work off those calories as we run through shops in search of the best deals on Black Friday. But we can’t forget another big (or little) day this week: Small Business Saturday (SBS)! This year marks the seventh SBS, a holiday that encourages shoppers to shop small and support the local economy.

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Here are some quick numbers for you to mull over:

  • There are currently 28 million small businesses in America which, account for 54 percent of all U.S. sales.
  • Small businesses provide 55 percent of all jobs, employing more than 8 million people.
  • Franchised small businesses account for 40 percent of all U.S. retail sales.
  • The index growth rate for new businesses rose from .28 to .31 percent between 2013 and 2014, translating to around 569,000 new businesses within that year.

In short, small business are a big deal, but a major struggle for owners has always been the cost of effectively advertising and marketing their products or services. It’s difficult for any brand to cut through the noise and make a meaningful and lasting impact on consumers, but it’s even harder when you’re working with a small budget. However, social media has provided a platform for small business owners to make their voice heard without breaking the bank.

Again, here are a few social media statistics for you to chew on:

  • Facebook is the most visited website of all websites.
  • 56 percent of people check Facebook daily.
  • 53 percent of people recommend companies and products on Twitter.
  • The average consumer mentions brands 90 times/week with family, friends and co-workers.
  • 64 percent of Twitter users and 51 percent of Facebook users are more likely to buy the products of brands they follow online.
  • 50 percent of shoppers have made a purchase based on a recommendation through a social media network.

It’s pretty obvious that social media is the place to be if you’re looking to catch someone’s attention, but that isn’t all these sites are good for. Social media provides an incredible amount of analytics and information about customers and page visitors. Small businesses can use Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics, or outside resources like Hootsuite Insights to gather information on what consumers like, who they are and what they think of a brand.

Additionally, social media increases website traffic and improves SEO. The more profiles a brand has and the more active they are on those pages, the more they will dominate search results. Similarly, links in social posts will drive traffic to webpages and boost search rankings as well.

Finally, social media allows brands to find out what competitors are up to. Using platforms such as Hootsuite, one can monitor other businesses, industry keywords and mentions of specific brands. This will help business owners find out what is going on within the industry and how to stay ahead of the curve.

So when you’re mapping out your plan of attack for Black Friday, leave some money in the bank for Small Business Saturday. These local shops and restaurants are working hard on social media to catch your eye and compete with the big box retailers. Share your finds online by tagging the business and using #SmallBusinessSaturday!

Resources:

https://www.sba.gov/managing-business/running-business/energy-efficiency/sustainable-business-practices/small-business-trends?leavingSBA=http://www.nsba.net/

http://www.inc.com/jeremy-quittner/latest-kauffman-index-indicates-small-business-recovery.html

https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/96-amazing-social-media-statistics-and-facts-for-2016/

https://www.aabacosmallbusiness.com/advisor/15-social-media-statistics-every-business-needs-know-001509118.html

https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-for-business/

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Erica Stonehill is a senior strategic communication major with a social media certificate. She is also the Executive Vice President of Scripps PRSSA. Follow her on Twitter @estonehill13

Potter PR: Lessons from the Wizarding World

For anyone who knows me, it’s no secret that I’ve always had a slight passion for the wizarding world. Likewise, those who I’m close with are surely laughing hysterically at the word “slight”. For myself and fellow Potterheads, it seems as if all our prayers have been answered with the recent releases and constant buzz. This has left me wondering how J.K. Rowling can draw in and maintain so much attention to her franchise. While analyzing the “Potter PR” techniques, three common trends became apparent: the ability to stay relevant, the power of storytelling and usage of social media. These basic techniques can (and should) be implemented into your own work as well.

  1. Staying Relevant

19 years ago (1997), the very first book in the Harry Potter series was published. Almost two decades later this fantasy is still holding viewer interest and is almost stronger than ever. To do so, J.K. Rowling has consistently created content and maintained relevance. After Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Pt. II, the final movie, was released in 2011, Rowling was able to stay in the minds of fans by creating a website called Pottermore, where she periodically releases short stories that allow readers to dig deeper into the wizarding world. Pottermore also allows users to uncover their Hogwarts House, wand type, Ilvermorny House and Patronus charm through interactive quizzes. Other releases to continually captivate fans have included the opening of The Wizarding World at Universal Orlando Resorts, the script and theater performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the new screenplay/movie of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (hit theaters last week!!). By constantly creating new content, Rowling not only keeps Harry Potter in the minds of her loyal following, but also in the headlines of media outlets.

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  1. The Power of Storytelling

Think about your favorite brands and PR campaigns. The most powerful tend to be the ones with a vivid story that resonates with viewers. While it may seem obvious that a book/movie series is telling a story, it is crucial to understand why it is so powerful. One way to start creating a stronger story, like that of Harry Potter, is by giving a greater attention to detail. Details are the powerful foundation to each story because they develop imagery that sticks with viewers. J.K. Rowling has developed a world so rich in detail that you can clearly picture what exactly is happening. For example, if you read the books, watch the movies and go to the theme park, you can see the consistency throughout every single description that makes the world feel hauntingly real. To tell a powerful story you must show the readers exactly what you need them to see with as many consistent details as possible.

  1. Usage of Social Media

A large portion of Potterheads are people our age who grew up with the series. New releases create a sense of nostalgia and excitement, so what better way to reach our generation than through social media! Within the past year, there have been numerous times when Harry Potter related topics have been trending on sites like Twitter and Facebook. During the release of The Cursed Child, there was a Snapchat story and a filter where anyone could share their excitement over the new book. This was an excellent way of reaching millennials and helping spread the news of the new release. Another way similar content is being shared on social media platforms is through Pottermore’s allowance of users to share quiz results on their own profiles. Additionally, J.K. Rowling uses her personal Twitter profile to directly interact with fans. No matter what you are promoting, it is beyond important to know where your audience is and find the most effective ways to engage with them.

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Brigitte Meisse is a sophomore communications studies and strategic communication double major. Follow her on Twitter @Meisse2Spicy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Glorification of Busy

“I’m a Scripps kid. I thrive when I’m busy.” How many times a day do you say/hear this? Too often do we over-glorify busy. I find myself unconsciously competing with friends about who’s week is fullest. I buy coffee mugs that say “I’m busy” and text too many people, “ugh sorry I’m busy.” A sentence in my cover letter even reads, “I thrive when I am busy managing several projects in a fast-paced environment.” Productivity is necessary for success, but when did overworking become so popular?

I don’t know about any of you, but this semester is taking a toll on my physical, mental and spiritual health. My distress is a direct result of complete and utter overbooking. Waking up early to do homework, attending class all morning, working all afternoon and in meetings all night. Where does the personal time fit in?

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Sure I was staying up to watch Netflix at night, and I told myself that was enough self-care. But, friends, that doesn’t cut it. We work so hard! We deserve more. Take a mental time out to journal every morning. Try out a new class at Ping. Get outside! Learn to cook a new meal. Write for yourself. Exercise your creativity in new ways. Whatever you do, make sure it’s with only the best intentions.

Take it one step further—be present in those moments. Instead of making mental lists on the treadmill, pop in your headphones and run to a new beat. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you.

All of this is much easier said than done. I’m on a journey to find the perfect balance. I’m not sure if one even exists, but I feel better with each step I take. Sometimes it pains me to peel away from the project and out to the gym, but once I’m there, I’m so grateful for that time of peace.

I encourage you to work toward this balance as well. If you want a workout buddy, coffee date, or need that extra push from someone to stop working, reach out to me. So, take on the rest of the semester with this attitude. Taking time to do NOTHING can bring EVERYTHING into perspective.

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Taylor Dilley is a junior strategic communication major. She is also VP of Social media for Scripps PRSSA! Follow her on Twitter @Taylor_Dilley.

 

Corporate Social Responsibility & Millennials: A Perfect Match

As application season rolls around, I’ve heard a lot of talk about what my peers want out of an employer. Mentorship, a solid paycheck and a relaxed dress code are all high up on the list. But there is one requirement that sticks out above the rest – we want to work for companies with strong ethical values.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR for short) has been a hot topic in recent years, and the numbers are there to back it up. According to the 2016 Cone Communications Millennial Employee Engagement Study, 64 percent of millennials won’t work for a company that doesn’t have strong CSR commitments. And while that paycheck is important, 75 percent of our generation would choose to work for a responsible company, even if it meant making less money.

So why do we care so much? While I can’t speak for everyone, conversations I’ve had with friends and classmates have given me a few hints.

We see everything.

Thanks to the digital age, we know what is going on around the world the second it happens. Twitter gives us the latest updates on riots, protests and acts of violence, while virtual reality allows us to see firsthand what it’s like to be in a refugee camp. In the past, it was a lot easier to focus on yourself and ignore the rest of the world’s problems. Now there is no excuse for being unaware of issues happening outside the borders of our county, state or country. While it’s understandable that some employers may hesitate to get involved in social issues for fear of political correctness, there is a great demand for company-wide initiatives to give back to various nonprofits and charities.

 We know the impact we have.

Technology and modern science have also given us the ability to track things – our amount of followers, our number of Fitbit steps, and most importantly, our carbon footprint (find yours here). We know climate change is real and we want to minimize the damage. Companies that recognize this and give employees the opportunities and tools needed to make a difference are infinitely more appealing than companies that are solely focused on reaching sales quotas.

We’re not afraid to ask for what we want.

Most of my friends are go-getters. I admire their audacity to take risks and get out of their comfort zones. Whether it’s traveling to a foreign country or flying across the nation for the internship of their dreams, they are not going to give up easily. The same standards apply to finding an employer. We aren’t going to settle on a company that doesn’t share the same values as us – we are going to search for the perfect fit. And if we think we have an idea, we’re willing to share it – the Cone Communications Study reported that 89 percent of millennials want to provide feedback, ideas and solutions to improve CSR efforts.

The job search can be intimidating, but finding a company that shares your values is key. As millennials continue to enter the workforce at increasing rates, expect to see employers pushing their CSR efforts to new levels as well.

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Emily Barber is a senior strategic communication major. She is also VP of External Relations for Scripps PRSSA. Follow her on Twitter @emilybarbershop!

November 7th Meeting Recap

Hope everyone had a great weekend! In case you weren’t able to make it to the meeting, here’s what you missed.

Announcements:

Scripps PRSSA and ImPRessions stickers are on sale for $3 as well as t-shirts for $15

Congratulations to all who were chosen to be a part of the Bateman competition

  • Austin Ambrose, Natalie Butko, Brigitte Meisse, Alyssa Murtagh and Sadie Newman

Be sure to stop by next week’s THANKSGIVING DINNER!

  • Bring canned food to donate, bring food to share and bring yourself!
  • The dinner will take place of the meeting @ 10 Rufus St. Unit 235 (River Gate)
  • Meet Rosie @ College Gate at 5:40 to walk over!

ImPRessions Updates

  • Tips at Casa in November go to ACHS
  • Sign up for the design workshop coming up next week

Member Spotlight

  • Rachel Treinen
  • Follow her on Twitter @Rachelleetee

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Resource for Members

  • President Office Hours in Baker 318
  • Wednesday 6:30-8:00

Still want to write for our Chapter newsletter, PR Success?

This week our speaker was Aryn Sanderson, Senior Corporate Communications Specialist at Electronic Arts (EA) located in Mountain View, California. She focuses on internal communications along with writing and editing. She acquired her degree from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

A Few Highlights:

Why Employee Communications?

  • Pushing out content to employees has never been easier, but engaging employees with content has never been harder
    • “You want to say the most by using the least amount of words”

Core Responsibilities // How to get Ahead

  • Executive Support
    • Provide support to the executive staff (written communications, quarterly Global Town Hall events, etc.)
    • Useful Skills: Writing and editing, AP style, Event management, and Graphic design
  • Employee Advocacy
    • Manage the engagement and growth of our employee advocacy program. Employee social media advocacy
    • Useful Skills: Writing copy for social media, managing social communities, Facilitation trainings, Measuring social media metrics
  • Global Employee Activations and Communication
    • Partner across the organization to assist and/or manage communication relevant to all global employees
    • Employee activations and programs that support product and service campaigns
    • Useful Skills: email marketing, A/B and multivariate email testing
  • Partnership
    • Serve as a partner to organizations including HR, facilities, legal, and others to provide guidance on employee communications best practices
    • Useful Skills: consultancy, strategic planning, research

Words of Advice

  • ALWAYS respond to professional messages and offers in order to get information and possible job opportunities
  • Come up with new strategies to engage employees
  • Think of employees as brand advocates in order to promote the brand in order to turn them into brand influencers within a social media community
  • You have the ability to take more risks and create closer relationships when working in internal communications rather than external communications
  • Use metrics for EVERYTHING
  • BE AUTHENTIC TO WHO YOU ARE
  • BE SURE OF WHAT YOU KNOW AND WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW (do not pretend to be someone you’re not)
  • Be able to admit what you DO NOT know
  • Interview Tips
    • Use an example that is tangible and use it to create more focus on one topic
    • Be able to use and understand data
    • Always be professional and casual
    • Send a thank you email or letter after every interview
    • ALWAYS take notes
    • Prepare questions prior to interview to be prepared (make them personal rather than broad)

See you all next week at our Thanksgiving Dinner! Don’t forget to donate cans, and bring food to share!

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This week’s meeting recap is courtesy of by Hannah Browsky! She’s a strategic communication major. Follow her on Twitter @HannahBrowsky.

Four Reasons the HallOUween Block Party is Beneficial to OU

Either you love it or you hate it. HallOUween is an interesting time for the life of an Ohio University student. The population of Athens nearly doubles in size for a single night. It has been an Athens tradition since 1974, after people hanging out on Court Street stopped traffic for a few hours. Since then, it has become an event with stages and sponsors, but it is still a public celebration for young adults. Ohio University tries to distance itself from the block party because they think it is bad for their image. Here are four reasons why the university should embrace HallOUween instead of turning their cheek.

1. The exposure to Ohio University

There are many people who may not have been to Ohio University before. This event is something that draws people to visit and see what Ohio University and the city of Athens is all about. HallOUween could even enlighten possible high school graduates or transfer students about the campus and all Ohio University has to offer, including both the college experience and a great education.

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2. The economy boost.

This one is easy. When you double the size of your population and bring a bunch of young adults to a city, they’re going to spend money. This benefits not only the stores and restaurants on Court Street, but also on East State Street and other stores around Athens. The money that comes in boosts the city of Athens and that’s something Ohio University can get behind.

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3. Increased sense of community.

Bobcats feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when HallOUween comes around. When people from different colleges and universities come for HallOUween it brings a sense of community with other Bobcats, even if you don’t know them. Most of us can relate to each other because everyone’s friends try to squeeze into our houses, trash our rooms and eat our food. This event makes people come together, discuss their experiences and give advice on what to do.

4.Recognition

Does a university want to be recognized for a massive block party? Of course not. But it is something that makes Ohio University stand out. When talking to people who don’t know much about OU, HallOUween is usually something that comes to mind. This starts a conversation, which will most likely lead to a discussion about how great Ohio University actually is. This recognition is necessary for people that are not informed about Ohio University, but are curious about it.

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Hayden Clark is a junior strategic communication major. Follow him on Twitter @HaydenClark81!

 

Why Studying Abroad Makes You Better at PR

Studying abroad is not only an exciting adventure to a far away land, but the biggest learning experience you’ll ever encounter. You’ll gain an abundance of skills that will help you in PR and in life. There is a never-ending list of reasons to go abroad, but I’ve narrowed it down to five main ones.

  1. Studying abroad improves your communication skills:

This may seem obvious, but studying abroad enhances your communication skills, even if you aren’t studying a foreign language. Having knowledge of a foreign language is a valuable skill in every career as the working world becomes more globalized. No matter where you go you’ll encounter a diverse set of people with a different vocabulary and different body language than you. Learning how to live in another culture and communicate with people from that culture increases your awareness of the effects your words have on others, which is the basis of PR.

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  1. You gain independence:

Being independent is an ideal we all strive for, but it’s definitely not easy to achieve. Putting an ocean or a couple thousand miles between you and your family and friends is a great way to jump-start your independence. It’s a lot easier than it sounds because independence sneaks up on you while you’re abroad. You’re so busy trying to navigate a new city, learn the language, find the grocery store, make new friends, have fun and see the city sights that you don’t realize you’ve accomplished this all on your own.

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  1. You become self-resilient:

Though studying abroad is a fun and exhilarating experience, it can also be challenging. You’re in a new place, surrounded by new people and possibly a new language. That can all be very unsettling. Almost all study abroad students experience some form of culture shock. Culture shock is a feeling of fear or disorientation to your new surroundings. Learning to break through culture shock and celebrate the differences between these new places and your home country is an amazing experience that can illustrate how self-resilient and adaptable you are. Resiliency is a great skill to have in any field of work, but especially PR. If your campaign doesn’t go well you’ll have to push through that negative experience and continue to work hard.

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  1. You are able to see your own culture differently:

When you step out of your culture and into a new one, you see some particularities of your own culture that you may not have noticed before. It’s easy to see your own culture as absolute, and even a little superior, but with the new point of view that studying abroad provides you can create your own views and not be tied down by what one culture thinks. You’ll need your own views in PR to provide the public with an original perspective that isn’t defined by any one culture.

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  1. Studying abroad gives you an advantage in the job market:

Studying abroad will give you life experience, which is hard to find in a classroom. You will learn so many life skills that you wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to gain until after finishing college or starting a career. Having study abroad on your resume shows that you are not afraid of challenges, are curious about new cultures and tolerant of other people’s behavior. That puts you ahead of the game. According to IES Abroad, 97% of their study abroad alumni find a job within one year of graduation and only 49% of non-study abroad students find a job in that amount of time.

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This list just scratches the surface of all the amazing opportunities studying abroad offers. Just close you’re eyes and think about that one place you can’t get out of your heart; somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. Now go out there and explore, it will only help you in the long run, plus you might have a little fun along the way.

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Kaitlin Webb is a junior strategic communication major. Follow her on Twitter @kakewebb1!

PRSSA National Conference 2017 Recap

In the wee hours of the morning on Friday, October 21, eighteen of Scripps PRSSA’s best and brightest knocked back some coffee, loaded too much luggage into four small cars and took off into the rain toward Indianapolis. For this one weekend only, Indianapolis was the Mecca of college public relations, also known as PRSSA National Conference.

The day started with a few career tours from some incredible companies like Visit Indy, Hirons and the NCAA. Throughout these tours students were able to see the workplaces and hear a rundown of each company’s PR operations.

We then settled into our fancy hotel/conference space, which also happened to have views like these from the rooms:

As it turns out, Indianapolis is way cooler than you’d think. More on that in a bit.

Our first real session of the weekend was on chapter development and featured none other than Gentry Bennett, Austin Ambrose, Annie Robinson and Alyssa Murtagh, four of our own! Our chapter was given the amazing opportunity to present on the unity between PRSSA chapters and student-run firms, and these PRos knocked their “Two Halves of a Whole” presentation out of the park.

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Later in the day we were able to have our resumes critiqued by professionals who offered great advice. A few popular tips were:

  • Keep it simple. A small design and an accent color or two make you stand out especially if the personal branding matches your business card, but don’t get crazy.
  • Numbers, numbers, numbers! Quantify everything! Show your prospective employer that your work actually reaches people.
  • Once you describe your work, you then need to describe the results, outcomes and significance that came from each item. For example, don’t just say you wrote social media content and it got 500 hits. Say that you wrote social media content, it got 500 hits and then that increased sales, web traffic or brand awareness by x Make sure you only do this if you have real, measurable results!

Our first day of conference came to a close with “The PRSSA 500” Opening Night Celebration, which was beyond fun and can only be described as lit. Food, music, and dancing were all provided with plenty of good cheer, and we saw that networking with our fellow aspiring professionals was actually loud, crazy and entertaining, not awkward or tedious.

Nighttime in Indy was for exploring the city, and each night we were all majorly impressed by just how beautiful it was. Skywalks, a cultural trail, tons of unique landmarks and delicious food tied it all together to make Indianapolis a truly fascinating place to be.

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Days two and three of National Conference were where we really got into the nitty gritty of learning, networking and getting inspired. But before any of that professional stuff could happen, we had to do role call, which Scripps PRSSA prides itself on mastering. After the morning keynote address and awards, a role call is performed where each school can do a little cheer to show people who they are and what they’re all about. We, however, prefer a big cheer, with elements that showed that we’re all about Twitter, coffee, Hannah Montana and being louder than anyone else.

Saturday and Sunday included speakers that made us laugh, made us cry and made us scream when they gave out free goodies (Vera Bradley, we love you).

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We learned from speakers who planned Super Bowls, rebranded entire fashion companies and brought thousands of tourists into a city that people don’t get all that excited about. We were taught rules about blogging and press releases, the ins and outs of nonprofit and sports PR and how to plan, pitch and tell a story that captivates an audience. Professionals in and out of the PR world showed us that authenticity, honesty and social responsibility are more important than profits. An astronaut and a refugee turned CEO showed us how we can take little opportunities and run with them, regardless of what we may have faced in the past. The Intern Queen herself gave us tips on landing internships and jobs that may seem out of reach, and Warner Bros. showed us how they promote the stars and shows we love. These are just a few examples of the amazing people and presentations we encountered. One of the best parts was that each of us were able to choose exactly which sessions we wanted to attend. During these two days of accelerated learning, we asked countless questions, met fantastic professional contacts and gave out as many business cards as we possibly could.

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Sunday night featured more food and a posh networking event that brought Ohio and Chicago chapters together with professionals from Geben Communication, who, by the way, LOVE Bobcats.

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Our last day at National Conference was a bit more relaxed and definitely bittersweet. Monday morning was spent seeing more of the city, especially the gorgeous canal walk, quirky boutiques and restaurants, and the coolest shopping mall ever.

After we’d seen the sights, we returned to the conference for the Career Development Exhibition, where we were able to speak one on one with about a zillion potential employers. The final event of the trip was the “Circle City Celebration” Awards Ceremony and Dinner where we got all dolled up and celebrated a year of incredible accomplishments and a weekend of fun and development.

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While reflecting back on the weekend, it’s easy to see why this is such an amazing opportunity. Going to National Conference is such an intensely motivating, inspiring experience. As a first timer, I can say that I’ve never seen anything like it. Sitting in a room with hundreds of other students who are talented, driven and passionate about the same thing as you seems like it would make you nervous or insecure. In reality, it empowers you to want to meet them all, learn from each other and motivate one another to do the best work possible. Hearing speakers that have done things you’ve only dreamt of doing say that they too were just kids in PRSSA reassures you that even though you might feel like you’re clueless, inexperienced or behind, you have so much ahead of you. Every single person there wants to help you in some way or another, and that creates a sense of community that transcends the differences we all have in age, location and experience.

I encourage everyone in PRSSA to go to National Conference at least once. It is truly a life-changing weekend. The things you’ll learn there far exceed the field of public relations. You leave with knowledge about responsibility, relationships, courage and being adventurous that will improve your life even outside of your career. And, if you take nothing else away from it, you still get a weekend of travel, fun and bonding with an incredible group of people who will become fast friends and lifelong supporters. PRSSA is something we’re all extremely lucky to be a part of, so taking advantage of these resources and experiences is really what it’s all about. I’m extraordinarily glad that Scripps PRSSA had such a terrific time in Indianapolis, and I hope to see you all at National Conference next year in BOSTON!

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Maura Anderson is a sophomore strategic communication major. Follow her on Twitter @agentmanderson!