A day in the life of a PR Newswire intern

By Allison Zullo

PRNewswire

This summer, I am interning at PR Newswire, a press release distribution company, in their downtown Cleveland office. Essentially, when it comes to distributing information in the form of press releases (in traditional and multimedia form), PRN is the liaison between companies and the public. Seems simple enough, right? Well, it turns out that PRN does a whole lot more than just distribute press releases.

The main reason I was interested in the internship was because of its educational nature; with this being my first internship, I wanted to learn as much as I could about the public relations industry. However, what I didn’t realize was how much I would learn about all that PR Newswire does, in addition to the press release distribution industry.

Though one day is never really like the next, here is a typical day in the life of a PR Newswire intern:

10522324-standard8-8:30 a.m.: Arrive, check email, chug coffee, etc. Commuting to Cleveland every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday means waking up at 6 a.m. for the hour drive downtown in stop-and-go traffic. It also means drinking LOTS of coffee in order to make it until 5!

8:30-9 a.m.: Morning meeting. This is where the five interns meet with our contact in the department that we will be shadowing that day. These departments vary greatly, from sales to those who actually distribute the releases, since PRN provides such a wide variety of products and services. We talk about what we will be doing that day as well as go over what we did the previous day or week.

9 a.m.-noon: Shadowing or project time. Depending on the day, during these three hours, we either shadow or learn from a professional in the department of the week. We are also given time to work on our final project, which involves a presentation based on research each intern has done on three different social media sites.

Noon-1 p.m.: LUNCH! Though we are split into two different groups during the day, all of the interns have the same lunch hour, which gives us time to catch up and talk about our day so far and about our favorite place in the whole world: Athens! In addition to about half of the office, we’re all Bobcats, which only goes to show how great the Bobcat network is.

march-0131 p.m.-5 p.m.: More shadowing and/or project time. In addition to shadowing and preparing for our final presentation at the end of our internship, we also have a few more weekly projects. Each intern is responsible for curating content for both PR Newswire’s Tumblr account and various Twitter handles, as well as writing a weekly blog post about our experiences as an intern.

And after that nine-hour day brings another hour (or hour and a half…) commute back home. I have learned so much so far, not only about PR Newswire, but also about what I eventually want to do with my life. I’ve also met some pretty awesome fellow Bobcats and had my first experience in a real-life office (with my own desk and everything!). Even though no day is similar to the next, I’m still loving every single minute of my time as an intern at PR Newswire!

Follow Allison on Twitter: @allisonzullo

MARC USA visits Scripps PRSSA, Feb. 10 RECAPPED!

By Gary Bridgens

On Monday, February 10, the Scripps PRSSA chapter held yet another famous Monday meeting. This meeting was particularly exciting, as Professor Davis’ capstone advertising class accompanied the usual members and were able to here from the talented professionals of MARC USA.

Before the presentation began, there were quite a few updates that you definitely don’t want to miss!

  • Sarah Rachul, a member of the Scripps PRSSA Bateman Competition Team, recapped a recent event that gained more than 55,000 impressions on social media for their client, Popmoney. The event was held to help college students plan affordable and safe spring break vacations.
  • The Ohio State University PRSSA will be hosting the regional PaRtners Conference at The Ohio State Union in Columbus on Saturday, April 12. For more information on the conference, follow the hashtag, #inspireOSUPR.
  • The inaugural Scripps PR Career Week will be held the week of February 24 and registration is officially open! Learn more or register for the Day-of-Competition event here and follow along with the hashtag, #ScrippsPRCW
  • There will be an informational meeting on February 19 at 9 p.m. for anybody interested in the upcoming Scripps PRSSA Executive Board elections and/or the long-anticipated annual networking trip! This year the chapter will travel to Charlotte.
  • Follow Tessa Austin, the Scripps PRSSA Spotlight Member of the Week, on Twitter! Her handle is @t_austin054.

This week’s featured speaker was Rob Throckmorton, SPHR. Rob is a graduate of Washington and Jefferson and a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources. After serving his country, Rob moved back home to Pittsburgh to work as a human resources professional at Fisher Scientific. He currently serves as Director of Employment and Staffing at MARC USA, an integrated advertising agency with more than $50 million in annual billings. MARC stands for “Marketing, Advertising, Research, and Consultancy.”

Rob covered a variety of topics that addressed both the aspiring advertising and public relations professionals in the room. The main conversation stemmed from a MARC USA portfolio of video and print advertising. Students discussed work done for clients such as The American Heart Association, Build-A-Bear, Cooper Tire, Rite Aid, and The Pennsylvania Lottery. Students were prompted to respond to the effectiveness of the ads and infer how public relations could be applicable in the distribution of that ad.

Rob then addressed the unique style of MARC USA’s work, particularly the assimilated, “marketing generalist” attitude of their creative process. He emphasized that MARC USA is not just an advertising agency, but their services include marketing and full service public relations management. Offering everything from crisis management to social influence/advocacy, their end goal is “…to create a well-rounded and integrated marketing package of PR and advertising.” MARC USA places a true emphasis on the importance of a collaborative, interdisciplinary work environment.

The group subsequently heard from Molly Daniels (PHR), a Penn State University graduate, certified Professional in Human Resources and current Human Resources Staffing and Recruitment Consultant at MARC USA. Molly informed the group of the copious internship and employment opportunities available at MARC USA offices around the country. Valuable networking opportunities are one of the many reasons we love PRSSA so much! Molly and Rob then commented on the recruitment process at MARC USA, which remains undoubtedly impressive! Beyond the typical interview process, MARC USA allows applicants to give a presentation to showcase their performance and experience on a previous project. In terms of tips for the process, Rob prefers to hire people who are prepared to be engaged and hit the ground running. MARC USA offers a very real experience to entry-level employees.

For more information on employment opportunities at MARC USA, check out http://www.marcusa.com/careers/.

Other than that, we’ll see you next Monday!

IT’S HUNTING SEASON!! for internships, that is.

By Jess Carnprobst

interns wantedThe greatest, most stressful time of the year is here: internship hunting season. We are all desperate to find the perfect internship, along with all of the perfect materials when applying. I’ve done my fair share of stressing over finding the right internship and attempting to make myself look flawless on applications, so I decided to share some of the tips and pointers I have received.

1. Keep your options open

Most of us have a dream internship that our sights are set on, but it is important to look for a plan B as well. Sometimes things don’t work out with your first choice, and although it may be tough, everything happens for a reason. Brush your shoulder off and move on to your variety of backup options. One of your other choices will undoubtedly provide you with an unforgettable summer full of memories and lessons. Choosing an internship in a field of public relations that you didn’t expect to be interested in can teach you a lot more about what you want in your future than if you choose an internship with an environment you expected and hoped for.

2. Blindly searching isn’t a bad thing

I blindly searched for internships during my freshman year, applied to two, and accepted an internship in Pittsburgh. I had no idea what to expect out of the summer, but it was undoubtedly one of my best. Even though I felt like I had no idea what I was doing during the searching process, I was finding interesting internships along the way. Trust your instincts and listen to the many great mentors around you. Randomly stumbling across a website may be all you need to connect and find the perfect internship.

3. It’s never too early to start

Of course, it’s a good idea to get started early in the year, but I’m not just talking about timing. For all of you underclassmen out there, don’t be afraid to start applying now. The worst that can happen is they say no. You’ll never know unless you try. If you do land an internship while you’re an underclassman, you will have greater chances at more competitive internships in your later years. Employers love seeing driven students who didn’t waste time before striving to apply their knowledge in the real world.

4. Use your available resources

With all of the social media and easy access employer’s websites, there is no excuse for not finding plenty of options. There are Twitter accounts dedicated to tweeting about potential internships. Find a few and start following them. These accounts will help keep your options open and add variety to your searches. PRSSA’s lovely VP of External Relations emails all dues-paying members with internship openings, and Marisa Dockum will even search for internships in a specific location if you ask. It can’t get any easier than that! You can also try Google; some pretty good results come up and will lead you to even more options.

Internship hunting is only as intimidating as you make it, so get out there and have some fun! When you’re putting yourself out there, showing interest in a company and letting your unique personality shine through, you will undoubtedly find an amazing internship with unforgettable experiences. Keep your options open and stay determined!

A day in the life of an Edelman intern

By Marisa Dockum

Image

Edelman holds the title of the world’s largest PR firm. Housing over 4,500 employees in 67 offices, Edelman pumps out talent, creativity, collaboration and results for quality clients. So, what’s it like to intern at a place with mind-blowing campaigns and top-notch thinkers? Well, it’s pretty cool.

I am a trainee on the Krispr account. Krispr represents all things Kellogg’s including Pop-Tarts, Special K, Frosted Mini Wheats, Rice Krispies and MorningStar Farms, just to name a few. Along with meeting talented professionals and networking with full-time employees, I play a part on national initiatives like the Pop-Tarts Crazy Good Summer Concert Series and the launch of the new Kellogg’s To Go Breakfast Shakes.

The majority of my tasks involve media relations and online interactions, pitching, creating media lists, monitoring and tracking what is being posted about products on social media sites and researching. Some days are crazy and some are more laid back. Below is a play-by-play of a typical day at Edelman:

8:30-9:00 AM: Arrive at office and mentally prepare myself for the day

9:00-10:00 AM: Media snapshots and morning monitoring

Every morning the intern team scours the web for any information or interactions regarding client products. We track impressions and reach, and create an overview of highlights in a media snap shot.

10:00-10:30 AM: Brainstorm meeting

On occasion I get to sit in on 30-minute power brainstorm sessions. The whole time I drool over the creativity and strategy that is thrown around the room.

10:30-12:00 PM: Research finding bloggers or celebrity partnerships

I have done a lot of research during my time at Edelman. There is a great deal of thought and reasoning that goes behind the bloggers we form relationships with and with potential celebrity partnerships.

12:00-1:00 PM: Intern class

Every week or so HR organizes mandatory intern classes for all the trainees and interns to attend. One was a panel of full-time employees in an array of departments and the class was open for Q&A. There was also a “Telling a Story With Data” digital class.  These classes are great and you get to interact with other interns!

1:00-3:00 PM: Pitching and follow ups

I have gained a lot of pitching experience and have learned more about media strategy. I spend a good amount of time following up with media outlets across the nation.

3:00-3:30 PM: Mentor/Mentee meeting

There is a Mentor program within Edelman. My mentor is Nick Lucido, he works in Digital and he served as the PRSSA National President a few years ago. Nick is an awesome resource for all things PR. He is so knowledgeable about digital analytics and social media. We meet biweekly and I take in all the advice he offers.

3:30-5:00 PM: End of day research and consumer product packaging

Working in consumer, we send out a lot of product for samples, reviews and placements. I have put together gift baskets and media giveaways that are sent to outlets like Cosmopolitan and O Magazine.

5:00-5:30 PM: EOD check in with team, help other interns complete all assignments

I don’t think my routine of walking into a huge building with security check-ins, sitting in meetings with stunning views of Chicago or working at fast paces on campaigns that reach millions of impressions will ever feel normal. My journey with Edelman has taught me a lot about the industry, agency life and “the big girl world.”

PR Newswire Meeting Recap 2.11.13

By: Allison Evans

Upcoming Events

  • Match Day is Thursday February 21 in Columbus. Registration is full, but you can email Jenny to get a spot at the networking luncheon.
  • Saturday March 16th we are hosting the Regional Conference entitled “Beyond the Basics.” Register today, the cost for dues-paying members is $25, and for non dues-paying members is $30.
  • Applications to be our National Delegate at National Conference are due on Friday. The conference will take place in Albuquerque, NM in April.

Networking Trip to New York

Secure your spot for the Networking Trip to NYC! Registration opens this Friday at 12 P.M. and the 30 spots will fill up quickly. Email scrippsprssa@gmail.com. Dues-paying members will receive priority.

We were delighted to be joined by two knowledgeable and savvy PR pros from the PR Newswire Association! Recent Ohio University graduate Amanda Stefanik, who works as an Inside New Business Development Representative, and Jenni Rumer, a Customer Content Services Manager were the guest speakers at tonight’s chapter meeting. Together they shared the user-benefits of PR Newswire and the products it has to offer, and inside tips on how the internship and job process works at their company!

Founded in 1954, PR Newswire is the “leading global provider of innovative communications solutions and marketing services that enable organizations to optimize, connect, and engage with their target audiences across all traditional, digital, social and mobile channels world-wide.”

PR Newswire offers a number of services and products to enhance the timeliness and effectiveness of media releases, which ensures maximum SEO (search engine optimization).  Amanda Stefanik elaborated on some of these terms, including “sending over the wire” which means a satellite blast of news releases, sending them to assignment desks in newsrooms.

“With the PR Newswire name attached to the release it is more likely to get picked up as it comes over the wire,” Stefanik said.

Products also track and analyze the results of the content released saving professionals countless hours by acting as the middleman between themselves and media outlets.

“You want to make your boss look REALLY good, and one way to do that is by tracking your success,” Rumer said.

Rumer also passed along the advice to ad multimedia content to releases in order to gain readership. Whether they are hastags, logos, videos, photos, or downloadable files, multimedia needs to be attached in order for your release to be read.

“More multi-media=more views,” Rumer said.

PR Newswire has hired a number of Ohio University graduates over the passed few years, and continues to do so regularly. Amanda Stefanik shared her experience with us, explaining that a representative from PR Newswire connected with her via LinkedIn, asking if she had any interest in working with them.

“At that time, I didn’t think a sales position was for me, but he encouraged me to come to Cleveland and see what PR Newswire does. I was hesitant, but I checked it out,” she said.

Though there was a significant learning curve, Stefanik found that it met all of her personal requirements that she had for a potential career.  Daily, she works with non-profits, agencies, and corporations editing and creating press releases, ensuring that her background that she received from Ohio University is utilized.

PR Newswire also looks for interns at Ohio University that are passionate, thoughtful, diligent, eager to learn and have experience in the field! Although the internship is unpaid, the experience and knowledge gained is invaluable.

“Interns will have an educational internship, working with our many departments over the 9 week program,” Rumer said.

If interested in applying for an internship, contact Jenni Rumer at

Jennifer-rumer@prnewswire.com.

Thank you Jenni and Amanda for your time and words of wisdom this evening!

PRSSA Meeting 1.14.13

Welcome back, PRSSA members! 

It’s time to jump back in gear and get pumped up for spring semester. After surviving your first day of classes come to Scripps 111 at 6 p.m. to kick this semester of PRSSA meetings off. We’re excited to see all of your beautiful PR faces! It has been too long. To kick this semester off right we are welcoming Alicia Shoults and Julian O’Loughlin who both have worked for the Ohio State Fair and Expo Center. 

Alicia Shoults is the marketing and public relations director for the Ohio Expo Center & aliciaState Fair in Columbus, Ohio, where she oversees all marketing, advertising and public relations efforts. Alicia received her BA in strategic communication and political science from The Ohio State University. She is active in the field of public relations and currently serves as Central Ohio PRSA’s development committee chair, the Columbus Kappa Delta Alumnae Association’s publicity chair, advises the Sigma Kappa chapter of Kappa Delta sorority on both public relations and philanthropy.

 

For the past 15 years, Julian O’Loughlin has served as the one and only graphic designer julianand Visual Communications Director for the Ohio Expo Center & State Fair in Columbus, overseeing and executing creative concepts, design, visual standards and videography. A graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design with a BFA in industrial design, Julian believes that everything is designed and everyone is creative. Julian has been a freelance designer for 20 years, serving as CEO of his company MOTIV8 Design for the last eight. 

 

There is a summer internship opportunity with The Ohio State Fair, so this is a great opportunity to network with the professionals. 
 
See you all there! 

What will you do with your PR degree?

By: Megan Valentine, PRSSA member

After obtaining a degree in public relations, one of the biggest challenges graduates face is deciding exactly what they want to do with their education. While graduate school is definitely an option, many feel that they have at least the minimal skills and experience to jump right in.

Capture-1Public relations professionals can be found in nearly every facet of every industry, from entertainment to health care and non-profits to politics. While this is a blessing in terms of the number and variety of available positions, it makes narrowing down the options very difficult. In addition, the type of work done in a corporate environment is considerably different than that taken on by agencies.

In an agency, each individual works with a range of clients on a daily basis and must be able to adapt accordingly. The assignments are typically very fast-paced and being able to identify writing styles, audiences and objectives is extremely critical. Multi-tasking is a must and each day consists of diverse responsibilities.

Working in corporate public relations is a better fit for those who enjoy consistency and would like to handle one, specific client instead of multiple. While in-house tasks still usually vary day-to-day, it is much easier to establish a particular voice and seek out relationships with media outlets that are relevant to the company.

After determining which atmosphere would be best for you, it is also important to look into what skills you have refined the most and where you could become a valuable asset. For example, someone who enjoys working online would thrive in positions that involve blogging, social media, search engine optimization and email marketing.

For those who would rather look into the big picture of a company, brand strategy may be a better route. Strategists work to help the public understand distinguishing qualities and increase awareness of a product or person. They expand upon branding techniques already put in place and find creative new ways to heighten recognition.

Outside of these typical routes for those in pubic relations, there are various other ways to put your degree to good use. Skills learned in strategic communications can also be valuable to positions in advertising, event planning, journalism, human resources and marketing. Even entrepreneurs working toward opening a business must know at least the basics of public relations in order to be successful.

The best way to get an idea of where you will fit most comfortably in the spectrum upon entering the industry is through internships and shadowing professionals in your area of interest. Finding your niche is the key to strengthening necessary skills and tailoring your experiences to fit your desired career.

To be or not to be an all-star intern

To be or not to be an all-star intern
By: Sienna Tomko

Internship opportunities are readily available by more and more companies, organizations and non-profits today than ever before. These opportunities allow you to experience public relations first-hand and to test different industries that may interest you.

More and more, students all over the country are spending their summer breaks, winter intercessions and even semesters gaining experience through internships. The norm nowadays, even with Scripps students, is not just one internship, but multiple internships with multiple employers.

It’s essential to be all-star intern in the PR world today. Yet, what does it take to be an all-star intern? Here are a few things to keep in mind the next time you start a new internship:

Be early

There’s nothing worse then being late as an intern. Try to get to work early to show your dedication. Like they say; the early bird catches the worm.

 Be persistent

Done with a project and looking for something to do? Instead of waiting around for your supervisor to tell you what’s next, be the first to ask. Show your eagerness to learn and keep busy!

 Be outgoing

No matter the size of the department, company or organization, be outgoing. Get to know staff members, learn about their PR backgrounds and ask questions! The last thing you want is for people to not remember you.

 Be flexible

The workweek is never the same. Events may arise that are out of your control. Be willing to work around a crazy schedule and get your work done on time.

Be willing to say you don’t know

Do you know how to ________? It’s okay to answer that question with a no. Although we like to believe we know it all, unfortunately we don’t. If you are faced with something you are unfamiliar with or don’t know, do not be afraid to say you don’t know. Just be sure to follow up with questions on how to learn.

Be attentive

Attention to detail is essential in the PR world. Be sure to double and triple check your work.

Be professional

In all senses of the world, be professional. Dress professionally, act professionally and present yourself in a professional manner. Remember that you are representing Ohio University, the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and YOURSELF!

Be yourself

The first day of an internship may be scary, especially if you are unsure of what to expect. Remember that an internship is a learning opportunity and a chance for you to grow in the field of public relations. Be yourself and enjoy every minute!

Be precise

In all internships, but especially when working in a fast-paced environment, don’t forget to take your time and be precise. It is easy to get caught up in saying yes to project after project but if you’re not presenting your best work, you’re not helping anyone. Don’t be afraid to say no so you can really focus on the task-at-hand. Proofread everything and check every detail. But most importantly, don’t rush through projects.

 Be humble

It is important to realize that you’re an intern and that you’re there to learn and to take any project given to you. We all know that a couple of the tasks that will come across your desk aren’t going to make your friends drool with envy, BUT it is important to prove yourself. Take those opportunities to prove to your supervisor that they can trust you with the small jobs so he or she will include you on the bigger ones. As interns we are not entitled to anything. Be humble and thankful for the experience and the resume boost!