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.

Scripps PRSSA’s First Semester: Success!

By: Briagenn Adams, PRSSA member

Ohio University’s Scripps PRSSA has successfully survived and thrived through its first-ever semester! Hurrah!

Although the switch from quarters to semesters was a huge change for Ohio University and its students, Scripps PRSSA handled the transition as any PR superstar would – with grace and a good attitude.

This year has seen many accomplishments and much success. In October, the Scripps PRSSA executive board traveled to San Francisco to participate in the PRSSA National Conference. While there, Scripps PRSSA’s Chapter firm – ImPRessions – accepted the National Best Campaign Award from PRSSA, an honorable recognition. In addition, the Hugh M. Culbertson chapter received a Teahan Award for “Best PRSA/PRSSA Relationship.” We are very proud of our talented Bobcats!

Along with weekly meetings from 6-7 p.m. in Scripps 111, PRSSA executives and members set out to hone their grammar skills by participating in “PR Boot camp.” For five weeks, sessions were held to go over résumé building, interview etiquette, AP style, and press release format. Those who completed the workshop were awarded a certificate of accomplishment and gained new knowledge of the proper-grammar world! (It’s really not such a scary place, after all.)

Moving towards the end of October, Scripps PRSSA met with OU’s Advertising Club to carve pumpkins and sip hot chocolate in the chilly autumn air. This annual tradition is a great way for members of the two groups to come together and make new friends, all the while networking with their future coworkers.

Before Scripps PRSSA members packed up to head home for Thanksgiving, they enjoyed a delicious spread of holiday favorites with their fellow members, including turkey, green bean casserole, and macaroni and cheese! Talking, laughing, and reminiscing over shared memories, Scripps PRSSA members unanimously agreed that joining the organization was one of the best decisions they had ever made at Ohio University.

Despite the chaos of the last three weeks of school, what with final papers and looming exams, Scripps PRSSA pushed ahead and made the most of 2012. The Sunday before the last week of classes, Scripps PRSSA’s ImPRessions held an end-of-the-year holiday event where members of ImPRessions gathered in Walter Hall to hear about the progress of OU’s entirely student-run PR firm, and munch on pizza and homemade goodies. No pun intended, but all those in attendance were thoroughly impressed.

Now that Ohio University is on Winter break, so are its students. However, Scripps PRSSA never rests! Throughout the holiday season Scripps PRSSA members are staying active by blogging, tweeting, and updating the organization’s Facebook page. In addition to regular social media, Scripps PRSSA has recently created Pinterest and Instagram accounts, so definitely check them out!

Although the 2012 Fall Semester was action-packed and unforgettable, Scripps PRSSA looks forward to the 2013 school year: the New York City Networking trip in March, the COPRSA PaRtners conference that Ohio University will be hosting in the spring, and all else that has yet to come.