Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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How to use your PR Skills outside of the office

January 29, 2015

By: Elise Mills, @itsELISElove

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The clock reads five, so you grab your coat, say goodbye to a couple of colleagues, and head out for the day. You were on fire today, everything you touched seemed to turn into Social Media gold. You knew you were good at what you do, you just never thought you would be this good. You wonder: If I’m this good inside the office, I wonder how good I can be outside…

Instagram

Your friend is complaining that no one ever likes her photo, and she asks for your help. Using your PR skills, you post her next photo at the best time to catch the most amount of traffic without being lost among the stacks of new posts to get more attention on the photo. You also include basic hashtags so that the ghost followers and those attentive to certain things will see, and like, the photo. This will easily double the amount of double-taps, without even blinking.

Break-ups 

Your best friend calls, they were just dumped by their significant other, and they need some cheering up. When you walk through their doors all you see is a pile of used tissues and junk food wrappers. The stench of defeat and self-loathing is strong. You quickly put on your game face and go on the offense to change their perspective before it’s too late. With your quick thinking, you start altering their mindset to make the break-up seem more their idea.

Family

Holiday season is here, which means its time to play everyone’s favorite game.

Do you have a boyfriend? Despite showing up fresh-faced and all smiles, everybody in the family from little Susie, to Great Aunt Catherine, are  asking about your love life. Instead of reaching for the wine bottle, you smile and start in on your all but pre-planned love life press release.  “ I am not dating anyone except my schoolwork. I plan on graduating college with job offers, and I am very happy. At this time we are not accepting questions. Who wants something to drink?”

Despite your job only being (mostly) nine to five, your skills are an asset to you anywhere and at anytime.

Citizen Journalism

January 28, 2015

By: Kelsey Miller, @kelseymiller300

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The quote, “With great power comes great responsibility,” isn’t just helpful for super heroes, but a quote journalists should stand by in their career. Are citizens, however, as aware as professional journalists about what great responsibility comes with having a smartphone?

Citizen journalism is the idea that someone breaks the news that isn’t a journalist. You wouldn’t have heard this term ten years ago, but with the sophistication of smartphone users in the past few years, it’s in our vernacular.

The questions is, should it be considered a form of journalism? In the Stuebenville, OH rape case and the Eric Garner video, it was. Or was it? Is it possible that there was more to these situations than we, as viewers, know about? I am not discounting the authenticity of what happened in these videos, but how long before a person twists a major news story and leads the world astray? Think about it: do you really trust Wikipedia all the time?

False information is put on social media regularly. What distinguishes a false claim from a true claim? It is a lot to expect from people to behave ethically when it comes to what they post on social media or their blog. This means that all forms of citizen journalism must be taken with a grain of salt.

With that being said, without it, cases like Stuebenville or the Eric Garner video wouldn’t have been brought to the surface. Citizen journalism is responsible for exposing the seriousness of rape culture and racism in this nation, something a lot of people like to sweep under the rug. This is only the beginning. What will citizen journalism tell us about our country next?

People are pickier than ever about where and how they obtain news. The Third Annual Social Media News Survey findings, as told in the article, Is Citizen Journalism Good for News Media, put it: “[The survey], conducted by TEKGROUP International in 2012 found that almost 90 percent of the respondents name Facebook and 70 percent name Twitter as their primary source of news and information.”

In addition, 28 percent of respondents get all of their news from social media alone. With staggering numbers like these, it is impossible to ignore the impact of citizen journalism. People trust their peers more often than they trust a journalist these days.

In a world where nothing is fast enough, it would be stupid to not take advantage of the convenience of citizen journalism. Professional journalists are unable to break every story; they aren’t the same super heroes they used to be. The question now is where will journalism be in another 10 years?

4 Reasons PR Pros Need theSkimm in Their Life

January 27, 2015

By: Annie Beard, @annie_beard

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theSkimm, a daily email newsletter, has taken over email accounts around the country, and even the world, one newsletter at a time. Created by two former NBC staffers, it has become the go-to news source for over 500,000 people. There are plenty of qualities that make theSkimm wonderful for everyone, but if you are a PR professional, theSkimm is even more wonderful. Here are four reasons why PR pros need theSkimm in their life:

1. The most imperative news, all in one place.

theSkimm curates all of the top and timely news and presents it to us daily. As a PR professional, knowing the news is part of the job, a big part at that. With all of the important news in one place, we can start our day informed and ready to go.

2. Quick news

Not only does theSkimm collect and curate all of the news for us, but it also presents it in a timesaving method. Because PR professionals are always on the go, quick news on our phone is what we love. With brief synopses, and links to the stories if we want more, it makes it simple to know what is going on around the world.

3. Witty, relatable writing

As journalists, we can appreciate simple, yet entertaining writing. theSkimm writers are great at giving us the news while writing with witty, sharp language. As a millennial, it is easy to relate to this style of writing and feel like you are chatting with a friend about the news.

4. It’s free

While I love supporting newspapers, a subscription is not in my near future, and I think that many other broke college students could agree with me. theSkimm offers all of the news, but its quick, entertaining and free.  It’s hard to beat a free news subscription that comes right to your phone.

A Guide to Kick Starting Your Internship Search

January 26, 2015

By: Emily Barber, @emilybarbershop

It’s that time of year again, and the smell of internship applications is in the air. While you may have an idea of what you want to do this spring or summer, it can be difficult to figure out where to begin. Anyone would feel overwhelmed after entering “public relations internship” into Google and seeing thousands of results. Not to worry, young grasshopper! Take a deep breath and check out these sites to find your perfect internship.

1. Career Sushi

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This website is great for people looking to travel for an internship. With opportunities in California, New York, or Texas, you could really go anywhere! The search bar allows you to limit your search by key words, location, industry, position (choose internship for this one!), company size, and more.

2. PRSSA Internship Center

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As a disclaimer, you’ll need to be a member of PRSSA for this site, and have your MyPRSA username and password ready. This is an awesome way to take advantage of being a member of PRSSA. There’s even an open spot for a PR intern in Florida, if you want to spend your days off at the beach!

3. internships.com

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Provided by Chegg, a familiar name in the textbook game, internships.com has a plethora of opportunities to browse. Helpful icons let you know if an internship is full or part-time, paid or unpaid, and even if you have any Facebook connections with the company.

4. Dapsity

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This app you can get on your smartphone, making the internship search even more accessible. It’s like Tinder, but with awesome jobs and internships, instead of creepy pickup lines. Interested? Swipe right. Not so much? Swipe left. Dapsity connects to your Facebook, LinkedIn or email. It then lets you choose keywords and a location and shows you “job cards” that match your inputs. Who knew searching for internships could be so easy?

5.  InternMatch

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This awesome site allows you to apply for many of its internships directly through the website, making it easy to get your resume out there. Searches can also be broken down into categories like arts, business or entertainment. InternMatch allows you to create a profile that possible employers can browse, so make sure to have an intriguing bio!

6. InternQueen.com

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Created by the “Intern Queen” herself, Lauren Berger, this site also features a fantastic blog in addition to its many internships. One opportunity is located in London (!!!) and offers experience in PR and marketing.

Introducing the Administration: Senior Director Kerry Tuttle

January 23, 2015

Have you ever wondered, “Who are these people that send me emails from the OUImPRession’s Gmail?” Well, here’s a chance for you to get to know those names, and not just what their position is in the firm! Kerry Tuttle is the first of the administration to offer herself as tribute. See what she is all about, you may realize you both never left seventh grade (in your music taste).

Kerry

1. Where are you from? 
I’m from Macedonia, a suburb 25 minutes south of Cleveland. I went to Nordonia High School and graduated in 2011​.
 
2. Why did you choose Ohio University?
I made the mistake of visiting Ohio University first and no other college even came close after that. I actually committed to a school to play volleyball, but my heart was always set on Ohio University so I retracted my commitment at the last minute and came to Athens. Best decision I’ve ever made.
 
3. How did you end up at ImPRessions?
I joined ImPRessions the winter quarter of my freshman year after realizing getting involved with major-related activities would probably be a good idea. I honestly can’t remember how I learned about it, but I do know that I had so much fun starting out on the Scripps account. It’s been my favorite student organization all four years.
 
4. What are your guilty pleasures?
If you put a bag of chips and a jar of salsa in front of me, both of them would be gone in less than ten minutes. I also have a deep love for early 2000’s rap and hip hop, so I am queen of all the middle school throwbacks. I’ve basically been listening to the same music since seventh grade.
 
5. Where do you hope to be in five years?
In five years, I hope to be in Chicago doing meaningful work at a company I love (and that pays for my MBA). I hope that I’m able to travel frequently, laugh often and pay all my bills on time.
Be on the lookout to learn more about the other administration members! 

Starting 2015 right: Cleaning up your online PResence

January 21, 2015

By: Alexandra Corsi, @acorsi17

Twitter was full of blunders in 2014. Between DiGiorno Pizza’s insensitive tweet, in light of the Ray Rice domestic violence accusations, and U.S. Airways’s leak of a pornographic image. Poor online public relations decisions made headlines left and right this past year. Taking these PR fails into account, here are some ways you can start 2015 right by cleaning up your online footprint.

1. Think before you tweet.

Check out this infographic from Mashable. If you’re ever wondering whether you should post something, this is a good flowchart to help guide your decision. Almost 80 percent of employers will consider someone’s online presence before hiring them. Even if you’re not currently considering internships or job offers, thinking before you tweet, or even having two different social media accounts—one private for personal use and another public for professional use—is important for preventing future debacles.

2. Always do your research.

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The reason DiGiorno’s tweet came across so insensitively was their lack of researching the meaning behind #WhyIStayed. Instead of coming off as snarky and funny, the tweet was received by Twitter users as ignorant and insensitive. Hashtags often relate to current events, so even if you do keep up with the news, doing your research before using a hashtag can prevent your tweets from coming off as ignorant and being used incorrectly.

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3. Create a brand for yourself, and make sure your online profiles are consistent with that brand.

How do you want to come across to potential future employers? This is something I always keep in mind when I’m drafting a tweet. Nothing online is private anymore; between screenshotting and quote-tweeting, there are multiple ways to save someone’s tweet, even if they have deleted it. You, typically, don’t want to come across to a potential employer as a crazy party person, with the mouth of a sailor. If you want to brand yourself as a professional, hard-working public relation mastermind, make sure your social media is consistent with that brand too.

Let your 2015 resolution be to shape up your social media presence. I think that one of the main problems is that with phones and technology, people feel like they are invincible, when hiding behind a phone. Keep in mind that what you post online reflects upon you in person. Practice good personal PR and keep your social media clean!

Why I Will Always Apply for my Dream Internship

January 20, 2015

By: Erica Stonehill, @estonehill13

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When it’s time to start applying for internships, it’s important to try and experience every possible route in the PR world: corporate, agency, non-profit, etc. It’s very common that your first internship will be at a firm, close to home. You’re aiming to get your feet wet and learn the ins and outs of the business. That being said, you should always shoot for the stars, and apply for your dream position, whatever that may be at the time. We hear too many stories from working adults about the horrors of nine to five jobs and getting stuck in a rut. What I find most exciting about PR is that there is vast amount of options to do in this business. I could be a publicist for Ed Sheeran, work the red carpet at the Grammy’s, or (the Holy Grail) manage social media for One Direction.

Speaking from my own experience, I have been fascinated with music for as long as I can remember. I realized very early on, however, that I do not have a trace of musical talent in my bones, which is fortunate for the people around me. Rather than allowing this lack of to hinder my desire to work within the industry, I switched my sights to the business side. Anything to bring me as close as possible to the magic of it all.

As internship season quickly approaches, I began searching for any opportunity within a reasonable distance of Lima, Ohio. I find myself punching the ‘APPLY’ button for a concert venue or record label that I really would like to work for. While I know it’s a long-shot to score my first internship with Columbia Records, it can’t hurt to try. The worst they can do is tell me no, and to apply again in the future.

We should never let the fear of being inexperienced, or too young, keep us away from going after the positions we want. Keep applying for those dream internships, get your name into the system (they may remember you when you apply next year) and build up your resume. A rejection never killed anyone. With  so many possibilities in this business, there is nothing wrong with taking risks and actively working toward those dream positions.

How to Spend an Unconventional Summer (and still get some PR experience!)

January 19, 2015

By: Gentry Bennett, @Gen_andTonic

With so many options of opportunities to do between semesters in college, it can be hard to choose a path to take! Here are some not-so run of the mill ideas to set you apart from your colleagues.

1. Volunteer at a music festival

A great way to see some awesome music, but also get applicable skills for your future, is volunteering at music festivals, like Bonnaroo. A variety of jobs will be available, and some include speaking to industry moguls and artists. These types of connections could set you apart from other music-industry hopefuls, and even potentially secure a job.

Bonnaroo-Arch

2. Get a customer service job

While it seems like it wouldn’t apply much to PR, customer service is a great way to brush up on your networking skills. While you might not meet someone that will jumpstart your career, you will learn many life lessons and see how marketing and PR work from the retail perspective. Sign up for the email list, follow the profiles of where you end up and watch to see the effects that email and social media have on the buying process.

3. Travel the world

While traveling the world seems like everyone’s dream, not everyone gets three months away from responsibilities or has the opportunity to make this experience happen. If you can make it happen, traveling will teach you about other cultures and how to be more respectful and inclusive in your career. Another global option is setting up an informational interview at a PR firm, or with the communications department, of a foreign company. Seeing the differences between the industry in America, as compared to abroad, will give you insight into potentially moving abroad.

4. Become a mentor

Leadership is extremely important in the communications field. Even as an intern, you never know when you’ll be asked to take charge of a project or client. Building up these leadership skills, and having the reward of seeing your mentee succeed, will help you in the long run.

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5. Shadow someone in your dream job

A lot of professionals, especially alumni of your University, are willing to help out young professionals. If you’re really inspired by the work of a specific firm or company, ask to shadow someone that works there for a day. This will allow you to see a window into your future, provide many networking opportunities, and pick up good tips and tricks of the trade.

6. Blog Weekly

If you do end up spending a conventional summer at an internship or working, blog about it! This will help your employer to see that you value your experiences with them, and that you want to spread the word about working there. Also, it never hurts to sharpen your writing skills, and it is great to have a personal set of writing samples.

3 Inconveniences of Traveling Made Easier – by Apps

January 14, 2015

By: Erin Golden, @erinngolden

Traveling is easily one of the most rewarding experiences there is. Seeing other cultures, experiencing new people, and coming back completely enlightened, are all benefits of traveling this wonderful world of ours.

As anyone who’s traveled knows, however, it isn’t always “fun and games.” Sometimes the most frustration comes from some of the most common traveling situations.

  1. Delayed/changed flights. Ugh.
  2. Currency conversion (no one said PR people are good at math).
  3. Wandering the streets looking for someplace to eat (when you’re already starving). 

But with the wonderful world of technology and smartphones at our feet, there are a few apps that can help you navigate these specific situations.

1. Flightview. This app allows you to track and plan your trips, and more specifically, your flights. Once you plug in your flight information, you can save the flight to a  specific “Trip.” On this “Trip,” you can add multiple flights – all of which will be saved for you to access later. Flightview then sends you push notifications for delays, boarding times, take-off and landing. I’ve also found this app extremely helpful when traveling with friends and family who may be on different flights, because you can monitor their exact arrival time, gate number and also receive a message when they’re on the ground. And – it’s free!

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2. Convert. This app proves handy when you’re visiting a country where the currency is wildly different from yours. The convert app lets you choose any two currencies and use it in a very similar way as a calculator. It proves extremely useful when you’re shopping around and need a quick conversion.

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3. Foursquare. Foursquare might be an app that has recently changed and expanded in its “check-in” system to it’s partner app called Swarm, however Foursqaure itself is a mind-reading master when it comes to dining in new locations. When you’re traveling to a new destination, hopefully you’re not craving McDonald’s. Instead, hopefully you’re craving amazing, local food! Foursquare pulls from your current location and time of day to suggest good eats near you. It also gives addresses, hours of operations, and directs you to your GPS, if you decide you need help getting there.

foursquare

Of course there will still be complications when you travel, but using these apps might just help ease the pain a little bit.

The Importance of Staying in Touch

January 13, 2015

By: Jessica Carnprobst, @jess_carnprobst

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As you begin making connections, it’s extremely important to keep them. This summer, I interned with WordWrite Communications, a boutique PR agency in Pittsburgh, and because I stayed in touch and on their radar, they asked me to come back over Christmas break. As I was leaving last Friday, they all asked me to stay in touch. So as I logged out of my work computer and walked out of their office for the last time, I thought of all the reasons I really wanted to do so. First and foremost, I enjoyed my time with them, and I want to hear how they are doing. Secondly, who knows where I’ll be after graduation, or if I’ll need a job in Pittsburgh. Lastly, everyone in that office is more than willing to help me in any way they can. Staying in touch with employers is not just a good suggestion; it’s something we all should absolutely be doing.

It’s polite to stay in touch with your previous boss, supervisor, or even fellow intern(s). Many will say how much it means to them to receive an email from you, even if it’s just to say Merry Christmas or ask how they are. It’s also nice on the other end, to hear how they are and how their life has been. I don’t know about you, but I love the connections I make during my time as an intern, and I’d hate to lose them with time, just because I never called or emailed.

You never know when that contact will be useful. It may be 10 or 20 years from now, but you might need a media contact in a different city, or help with something at work. Let’s paint a little picture and say your previous boss is the best person to help you. If you’ve stayed in touch, then it’s no problem! You can now finish your work without a hitch. I’ve heard countless stories that start this way. Old connections will almost always prove to be useful in one way or another.

They want to help you. If you’re one of those people that “feels bad” reaching out, stop thinking that way. It’s easy to feel like you’re being a burden, but if you’re truly staying in touch and not just contacting them when you need them, there’s nothing wrong with reaching out. They’re there to help you, so let them!

Nurturing connections is something we should all be doing. In honor of the New Year and the quickly approaching internship searching season, I say we make it all a resolution to stay in touch!

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