Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Networking Trips 101: The Do’s and Don’ts

April 1, 2015

By: Morgan Borer, @MorganBorer

Networking 2

This weekend, I traveled to the city that’s just as famous for its deep-dish pizza and hot dog stands, as it is for the Sears Tower: Chicago. I arrived at the Felix Hotel late Thursday evening with four other members of PRSSA, tired and weary-eyed from the exhaustive drive. I quickly unpacked my bags, located my planner and itinerary and hopped into bed. I was eager for a full day of networking with Scripps PRSSA.

I have traveled to Chicago a few times prior to this weekend, but I found myself unprepared for this networking trip. For example, while walking downtown during our lunch break on Friday, I frantically called my dad pleading him to deposit money into my account, I had seven dollars.

I was also shivering and attempting to warm my hands, to no avail. I also failed to bring a decent winter jacket and gloves. It’s almost April, so it must be warm in the city, right? Wrong. Fortunately, I was surrounded by people who really had it together and helped make this weekend the experience of a lifetime, despite my poor planning!

After reminiscing on the trip, I’ve conjured up a few “Do’s” and Dont’s” of Networking in the City.

Do dress for the weather

Check the local weather at least one week in advance, and begin planning appropriate outfits and outerwear. If you’re traveling to a city, like Chicago, with cooler temperatures, pack extra gloves, hats, scarves, socks, tights and a warm coat. Also, bring appropriate shoes! Flats are much more comfortable for getting in and out of cabs than heels. Stash your heels in your bag to change into at your destination.

Do your research

Know the companies and professionals that you are visiting before you walk in the door. Visit the company website, read recent press releases, and be well-informed about what they are doing in the news. Come prepared to each meeting with intelligent, thoughtful questions. Professionals will be impressed when you show that you’ve done your homework.

Do soak it in

You’re a student, so act like a sponge and soak everything in. Listen closely to what each professional has to say. Oftentimes, they offer valuable interview tips and career advice. In Chicago, several of the professionals spoke about their own personal journey after college, and how they ended up working in public relations. Pay attention to the company culture and the environment and watch how employees interact with one another.

Do follow up

Bring your resume and business card to each place you visit, and be sure to collect business cards before you leave. After the visit, send each professional a personalized follow-up email. Thank them for meeting with you and discussing the company. You can always add a compliment, or mention something specific you liked about the company. For example, when I followed up with Groupon, I mentioned how I loved the Tiki bar in the middle of the office. Additionally, reach out to each professional on Twitter or LinkedIn and send them a message. These connections will be important during job hunting season.

Don’t be on your phone

Warning: If you’re like me and have an emotional and physical attachment to your iPhone, this will be difficult. However, it’s extremely important to stash your phone away and pay attention. Professionals will notice if you seem distracted or uninterested in the presentation and their company. At one of the agencies I visited, an employee blatantly pulled out his phone multiple times throughout the presentation, giving me a negative impression of the agency. Be polite and engaged.

Don’t feel like you have to have your life planned out

A networking trip is an opportunity to sample a little bit of everything from the buffet. You don’t need to know exactly what you want, or where you want to work. If you are set on working for a non-profit, that’s excellent, but keep your options open. One professional I spoke with told me that in college he never wanted to work in advertising or marketing, and that’s exactly what he does today. Don’t be intimidated by the young, cool, seemingly know-it-all professionals. They started out right where you are.

Don’t forget to smile

Finally, don’t forget to smile! Make good eye contact and smile at everyone you meet. You will likely grow tired, hungry, or in desperate need of a 3 p.m. Starbucks run. However, making an effort to stay upbeat and positive will make each visit more enjoyable. Display genuine kindness and people will definitely notice.

Memes that (almost) every PR pro can relate to

March 31, 2015

By: Elise Mills, @itsELISElove

With all the stress of papers, upcoming finals, and internships, it’s about time for all of us to have some good laughs. Even though there are many different forms of PR, these memes are universal to those of us who are in the strategic communication field.

1. “Welcome to PR, where everyone thinks you “spin storie and that tweets don’t matter.”

Drew Carey (1)

Whether it is your mom who watches Scandal, or the elderly neighbor who is constantly looking for your name in the paper, few understand exactly what the entire job entails and why it is even important.

2. “Content, it’s kind of a big deal.”

MEME-BLOG-content-its-kind-of-a-big-deal (1)

Content, it’s the peanut butter to great idea’s jelly. You have a campaign idea? Cool, but where’s the content? Wanna do a press release? Awesome, but what are you going to say after the opening paragraph? Make sure you have content.

3. “One does not simply appear in search engine results”

images (1)

No, typing your name 100 times isn’t going to put you on the first page of results. Although we all wish it were that easy, the facts tell us otherwise.

4. “Public Relations”

frabz-Public-Relations-What-your-friends-think-you-do-What-your-mom-th-7d3330 (1)

Enough said.

5. “I got 99 problems but a pitch ain’t one”

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Life is crazy, you are drowned in student loans, and your favorite pair of shoes is out of commission, but you’ll always have the perfect pitch.

6. “Every day I start by hitting up Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, and Instagram.”

Tom-Haverford-Catherine-Limcaco

Us too Tom, us too.

Memes that (almost) every PR pro can relate to

March 31, 2015

By: Elise Mills, @itsELISElove

With all the stress of papers, upcoming finals, and internships, it’s about time for all of us to have some good laughs. Even though there are many different forms of PR, these memes are universal to those of us who are in the strategic communication field.

1. “Welcome to PR, where everyone thinks you “spin storie and that tweets don’t matter.”

Drew Carey (1)

Whether it is your mom who watches Scandal, or the elderly neighbor who is constantly looking for your name in the paper, few understand exactly what the entire job entails and why it is even important.

2. “Content, it’s kind of a big deal.”

MEME-BLOG-content-its-kind-of-a-big-deal (1)

Content, it’s the peanut butter to great idea’s jelly. You have a campaign idea? Cool, but where’s the content? Wanna do a press release? Awesome, but what are you going to say after the opening paragraph? Make sure you have content.

3. “One does not simply appear in search engine results”

images (1)

No, typing your name 100 times isn’t going to put you on the first page of results. Although we all wish it were that easy, the facts tell us otherwise.

4. “Public Relations”

frabz-Public-Relations-What-your-friends-think-you-do-What-your-mom-th-7d3330 (1)

Enough said.

5. “I got 99 problems but a pitch ain’t one”

3c3f4d50ca18b386137904d60ddd8100 (1)

Life is crazy, you are drowned in student loans, and your favorite pair of shoes is out of commission, but you’ll always have the perfect pitch.

6. “Every day I start by hitting up Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, and Instagram.”

Tom-Haverford-Catherine-Limcaco

Us too Tom, us too.

Why Podcasts are Making a Comeback

March 30, 2015

By: Allison Zullo, @allisonzullo

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When it comes to keeping up with the latest news and entertainment trends, PR pros tend to turn to the old reliables: Twitter, Netflix, iPhone news apps, etc. But, what about something “new,” like podcasts?

Podcasts are essentially episodes of radio shows that you can download and listen to. They have soared in popularity thanks to the craze that was created by the podcast “Serial”, late last year. “Serial” followed reporter Sarah Koenig (who also narrated the podcast) as she investigated and attempted to unravel the murder of Hae Min Lee, a Maryland high school senior. Her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was charged and eventually convicted of the crime, though he still claims his innocence. Koenig tells the true story of the crime, and her investigation over the course of the twelve-episode season, that can easily be binge-listened to in two days.

Ever since “Serial” took off, already-existing podcasts have grown in popularity, and new players have jumped into the podcast game. But why are podcasts all of a sudden making a comeback? Here are just a few reasons.

You can listen to them anywhere.

Downloading podcasts on your phone is super easy (on iPhones, there’s even an app that comes with your phone that allows you direct access), which means you can have tons of podcasts literally at your fingertips. Whether you’re driving to work, walking to class, working out, doing homework, or getting some spring cleaning out of the way, you can listen to a podcast. As much as we would love to do all of these things while binge-watching Friends on Netflix, sometimes that’s next to impossible (um, DRIVING). Listening to a podcast allows you to multitask by crossing items off your to-do list, while staying current with the news or expanding your knowledge.

You can learn new information and skills. 

Whether you’re into sports or music, history or science, there’s a podcast that coincides with your interests. There are plenty of ways you can learn something new. HowStuffWorks.com, a website that can literally tell you how anything works (seriously, check it out), has a few awesome educational podcast series. These series are “Stuff You Should Know,” which covers a huge range of topics, and “Stuff You Missed in History Class,” which covers little-known and super interesting topics that might have been skimmed over in your high school history class. Don’t worry, hosts John and Chuck (“Stuff You Should Know”) and Holly and Tracy (“Stuff You Missed in History Class”) keep it way more interesting than your teachers ever did.

You can gain insight into current events. 

Podcasts not only allow you to catch up on current events, but they also often bring in experts in the topics to analyze the situation, and break it down to a deeper (and sometimes, more entertaining) level than the typical news outlets. If you’re into sports, check out ESPN’s podcasts; pretty much all of their radio shows have one that can be accessed via iTunes or their own application, ESPN Radio. My personal favorite? “The Best of Mike & Mike,” which breaks down four hour radio shows into a 45 minute to an hour long podcast, with the major highlights from the day’s show and major sports news. Obsessed with pop culture? NPR has you covered with “Pop Culture Happy Hour.” In it, a panel of various guests and host, Linda Holmes, debate anything from books to television and movies. And, if you love NPR (National Public Radio), most of their radio shows also air as podcasts.

Whatever your interests, there’s a podcast that is right for you. If you haven’t listened to “Serial,” go listen to it pronto. If you’ve already binge-listened, try out another podcast. Check out iTunes’ top charts for podcasts, or do a Google search to find one that matches your interests. Happy listening!

3 Life Lessons Learned From “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

March 27, 2015

By: Melaina Lewis, @melaina_lews

Unbreakable. It’s a miracle. The ingenious mind of Tina Fey and Robert Carlock did it again – this time creating satirical dynamite on Netflix. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt released, to what feels like, instant popularity. Within days, people were binge watching the series, then telling their friends to do the same. As public relation professionals, we know word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool. If a brand can gain the trust of one person, then it can easily gain the trust of ten more people. Let’s be honest, we all wanted to be the first person telling someone to watch Kimmy Schmidt. Like many, I watched 13 episodes over two days, and yes, I can see why this show was a strategically planned PR goldmine. However, Kimmy taught me more than just marketing skills. Here are three lessons I learned from watching the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt:

1. You are strong as hell.

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As a former mole woman, Kimmy offers a handful of life advice throughout the series. Lesson one: Never allow anyone to make you think you’re garbage. When life gets tough, remember you can do anything for 10 seconds at a time. In all seriousness, you can overcome anything, it’s mind over matter. At times, we lose touch with what’s important in life, and get distracted by work, school or homework. Take a step back and readjust your priorities. Be surprised by your strength.

2. Achieve your dreams

kimmy

A speaker at Lead365 (a stellar conference for student leaders), told me if you write down your goals and look at them three times a day, you’re more likely to achieve success. You may have to zig more than you zag, but just like Kimmy, you can get friends, a job and an apartment in New York City, all in one day.

3. Don’t be afraid of the unknown

Unbreakable-Kimmy-Schmidt-Titus-does-the-Lion-King

Embrace it. Step out of your comfort zone, and then once you’re out, step again. Great experiences can come from the unknown. Tituss never stopped pursuing his broadway dreams. Like a true entrepreneur, he created his own generic version of Disney’s Lion King. Don’t talk yourself out of an opportunity. Apply for the internship or job in the city of your dreams. Remember, you’re unbreakable.

Social Media’s Inevitable Development

March 26, 2015

By: Austin Ambrose, @tex_ambrose7

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Remember the ‘good’ ole days when Facebook was a place for high schoolers to rant about their lives, share pictures, and parents didn’t even know it existed? Or when Twitter was an easy way to update you followers on what you were doing. Or when you had ‘Best Friends’ on Snapchat. Those were the days.

Sure, you can still find this on each of these sight, except the ‘Best Friends,’ which we are still bitter about. However, you know have to decipher through something else in order to reach this original social aspect of social media: news content.

There is nothing wrong with news content, but it leads to the point that social media sites often get taken over by the news industry trying to reach more people and make enough money to stay afloat. Who can blame them? Finding an audience can be difficult these days.

It seems to be the inevitable path of social media. It as a platform for young adults/teenagers, to do whatever the sites is for, and then news companies and older generations move on in. Thus, changing the whole experience of social media.

Facebook and Twitter have become hubs for media outlets to post and circulate content. Facebook has become grand central station for Buzzed quizzes, and has even ventured into publishing original content. Twitter has become an easy platforms for companies to put up articles and hope people retweet it.

Snapchat has begun to move in this direction, having their new ‘Discover’ feature and sponsored Snap stories. The positive side with Snapchat is that it would be very difficult to infiltrate the original purpose of the app, to send terrible selfies to your friends.

It’s inevitable that media companies will want to use these platforms for their own gain. It doesn’t, however, seem to be scaring users away, but changing the way the site is used. Conversely, people are always on the lookout for the next breakout app.

Perks of the Nonprofit World

March 24, 2015

By: McKennah Robinson, @kennmilli

Nonprofits Matter Logo 2 on white (larger)

When looking for internships, narrowing down your choices often doesn’t come until you have a solid list of places to apply to. The questions we all ask is ‘What will be the most beneficial?’ I’m willing to bet that most of us would say corporate or a PR agency. Not as many of us look at the world of nonprofits as being a great place for interns to go. But, there are many perks that can make saying ‘yes’ to a nonprofit worth your while.

Perk #1: We generally don’t know a whole lot about the non-profit world.

In class, we lean very heavily on corporate or firm marketing and PR. Most of us have probably even taken networking trips to firms or companies. It is phenomenal that we all have this breadth of knowledge about the strategic communication world, but stepping away from our comfort zone of agency and corporate PR, and into a murky area of non-profit, may bring great rewards. I personally love to learn, so taking an internship with a nonprofit is an exciting and logical next step for my education.

Perk #2: It feels good to know you’re part of something bigger.

In a giant company, it can be easy to get lost in the day-to-day tasks. Sometimes, we complete tasks in PR and never get to see the bigger picture. In a non-profit, everything the members do is essential to keeping the organization afloat. Every press release or blog post that a nonprofit puts out is crucial to keeping followers updated on how the organization is doing. In a non-profit, no one is expendable and they need all hands on deck.

Perk #3: We should all strive to be a little more altruistic.

Being selfless is one of the most undermined values. It shows dedication and compassion — both of which are key traits in a world that has become so impersonal. Giving back feels good, great even, and is a quality that most employers look for in potential employees. Knowing that you’re helping make a difference in the world is an unparalleled feeling.

This list just barely scrapes the tip of the iceberg on why it is a right decision to take your PR talents to the nonprofit world. Even if this isn’t for you, I challenge us all to broaden our horizons and look into internships that are outside of our comfort zone.

Myth-Busting: Introverts in PR

March 23, 2015

By: Emily Barber, @emilybarbershop

introvert

The stereotypical image that comes to mind when picturing a public relations professionals is someone who is loud, outgoing, talkative and extremely social; a.k.a. an extrovert. While many people in PR fit this description, there’s also another group that doesn’t fit the same mold – introverts. According to Introvert Retreat, about half of the population is introverted, so some of them are bond to make their way into PR. This means that these individuals enjoy spending time alone to recharge and relax. Despite these inward tendencies, introverts can still be successful in PR, and here are a few reasons why:

1. You choose your words carefully

Introverts tend to be more reserved, and therefore think before they speak. While those extroverts are posting tweets that could damage a brand’s reputation, you take the time to carefully select each of your 140 characters.

2. You’re detail-oriented

Much like their strategic word choices, introverts pay attention to detail. They are good listeners and like to take their time, so you know every event planned by an introvert is sure to be a success.

3. You value your relationships

Network, network, network. As PR people, we hear this all the time. Rather than making short, shallow connections with a bunch of different people, introverts develop strong relationships. In a business where it’s all about who you know, introverts can be sure that their connections will help them out.

4. Introversion ≠ poor communication skills

A common misconception of introverts is that they are awkward communicators, but this is far from the truth. Introverts do not necessarily have inadequate social skills; they simply gain energy from being alone. They can still give a killer speech, network like a pro, or control mobs of prying journalists – they just might need a little quiet time after!

I grew up with an introverted mother and an extroverted father, so I consider myself to be somewhere in the middle of these two personality traits. I enjoy talking with and meeting new people, but I will also choose staying home and reading a book, instead of going to a party sometimes. Nevertheless, I have no doubt in my mind that I will someday be a successful PR pro. Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between, PR can be your thing, as long as you’re dedicated, driven, and passionate!

5 Campaigns That Every Woman Needs to Know About

March 20, 2015

By: Kerry Tuttle, @kerrtut

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International Women’s Day was celebrated earlier this month to champion the achievements of women around the world, while continuing to call for greater equality. A number of brands have recently launched campaigns to bring attention to the various struggles that women face – whether it’s self-confidence, domestic violence or equality in the workplace. Here are five standout campaigns you need to know about.

Love Your Selfie

Aerie’s world’s largest unretouched selfie was just the latest in their #AerieREAL campaign that launched early last year, when the company announced they would no longer be using Photoshop on models. The campaign is aimed at boosting body positivity and celebrating “real” women.

Not There

The Clinton Foundation made a statement and reminded the world that we are still not there in terms of gender equality. They removed women from billboards and print ads to place a different message. Women in ads by brands such as Kate Spade, Under Armour and Beats by Dre were replaced with the Web address not-there.org.

Faircloth & Supply

Urban Outfitters is partnering with a charitable clothing brand called Faircloth & Supply to create a capsule collection in stores and online. Faircloth & Supply provides school uniforms, supplies and scholarships to girls in Nepal. To date, they have sent almost 1,000 Nepali girls to school and hope to triple that number this year.

Love Your Curls

After finding that only four out of 10 curly-haired girls thought their locks were beautiful, Dove launched the Love Your Curls campaign to encourage women to wear their curls proudly, and inspire the younger generation to do the same. In true Dove fashion, there’s a heart-wrenching video to accompany the campaign.

#TheDress

The Salvation Army took advantage of the white/gold, blue/black debate to bring attention to domestic violence against women, and the fact that one in six women are victims of abuse. One of the print ads features a bruised model wearing a clearly white and gold dress with the tagline, “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?”

Hidden Gems in OU Course Offerings

March 19, 2015

By: Austin Ambrose, @tex_ambrose7

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Advising week is underway, and all of us are looking for a class or two to take as elective or requirement. As we peruse the course catalogue, there are classes that catch our eye because the title is so dang interesting. Some of us, who may be me, spend more time than others looking through the vast selections of courses that are offered at our lovely institution. If you are looking for an unusual class to take, here are a few to pick from.

Drugs and the Brain

-Now, we may not all be science people, but we have to take science classes, and this is one that can engage any student. This class is centered on looking at how the brains neurotransmitters respond to different types of drugs. Even though the focus is learning about the nervous system, there is a large component that surveys the major classes of drugs. The best part is this can count as one of your science credits (I think).

Famous Trials in American History

-Who doesn’t want to talk about murder, scandal and celebrities? This class has everything that consumers look for in entertainment, and it’s a history course. Trials that drew national attention and became historical events in the country are the topics of discussion in this class. It could also be interesting to look at the media’s influence and role with these trials. One to consider.

Nonprofit Management

-Did anyone know that we have a leaderships and public affairs section of courses? I only recently learned this myself, but the classes offered sound incredible, and align great with PR professionals. Nonprofit management is one of these courses, and the name tells you it all. This course looks at nonprofits role in society, its economy and how to manage the functions that apply to nonprofits.

Sociology of Sport

-Sports are such a hue part of life in the United States, shout out to March Madness. This class looks at how sports interact with society, its functions and its historical placement. There are so many ways that sports influence our life, and this class is designed to explain those influences and how it affects people.

There are so many incredible classes that you can take during your time here at OU. All you have to do is scan through the course catalogue. There are of course hundreds of your standard English, science, sociology, etc., but there are some hidden gems that just take a little time to discover. I encourage you to look and share some of the quirky classes you find.

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