In case you missed it: the first PR Bootcamp of the semester, RECAPPED!

By Jess Carnprobst

PRSSA’s fist week of PR Bootcamp was a huge success. Eager PR students were packed from wall to wall in Ellis, ready to learn about media relations. Melaina Lewis, Ben Clos and Marissa McDaid started the Bootcamp with an explanation and demonstration of the use of Cision. They then moved to media lists and ended the Bootcamp with press releases. This first Bootcamp was both fun and informational and taught valuable information.

Cision is a large media information system that creates media lists and alters media stories. It is paid for by PR agencies, so if you are planning to intern or work at a larger agency, you can bet you’ll be using Cision. Cision cuts back on time when creating media lists; it will even export your list as an excel document. Cidnye Weimer generously demonstrated Cision and explained her experience using it over the summer at her internship.

The next portion of this Bootcamp discussed media lists, which goes hand-in-hand with Cision. When making a media list, it is important to first decide your target market, know who you’re emailing and then you can get ready to pitch! Journalists could be getting hundreds of pitches a day, so make sure yours stands out. Melaina, Ben and Marissa talked about different ways to go about this, like speaking truthfully and making sure you are well informed about the topic you are pitching. Most importantly, don’t forget to smile when you dial!

The first PR Bootcamp ended with an explanation of how to write a press release. When writing a press release, headlines are very important. Just like your pitch, they need to capture the reader. The headline should be creative, no longer than 10 words and the first letter of all words should be capitalized. Press releases should be written in inverted pyramid style with the most relevant and interesting information at the beginning. Never forget to add the boiler plate at the end of the press release, which is the company description. Lastly, the PR students got the chance to practice writing their own press release. Students shared ideas and received feedback for their work.

Overall, the first PR Bootcamp was informative, but also a lot of fun. There will be three more Bootcamps to follow, each one just as interesting and fun as the last.

If you are looking to gain experience while having fun, join PRSSA tonight at 7 p.m. in Ellis 111 to learn about AP Style and proper news writing technique! 

A day in the life of an Edelman intern

By Marisa Dockum

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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.”