Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Tips for entering a new position

May 21, 2015

By: Austin Ambrose, @tex_ambrose7

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With the summer starting and people starting jobs and internships, a new world is opening. Starting a new job or internship can seem intimidating, especially if you have never lived in the area and are meeting a group of new people. There are so many stressors in a new position, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take control and make your transition seamless, and impress those bosses.

1. Take the time to meet people

Starting in a new work environment, especially one where you may not know anyone, is overwhelming. Take the time to go around and meet everyone who is probably feeling the same way. There are probably other interns, or other new hires, so take the initiative and befriend them. At least introduce yourself, this is a time when you are allowed to be outgoing and talking to everyone you meet. Forming relationships with coworkers early will help make the experience better down the road. So take a moment and prepare your small talk.

2. Find a mentor to be your guide

Identify someone who has more experience than you, and have them be your guide. Chances are there will be someone who can help you learn the ropes, give advice, and help ensure you take away all the knowledge and connections possible. This person may be a returning intern or veteran employee. Find someone you feel comfortable with and that you know will helpful to you. You may only be in this position a short while, but having someone to help in that time can make a huge difference.

3. Set expectations for yourself

Sit down with your supervisor and set those expectations for yourself. Know how you are going to act throughout the summer, and make it known. Show your supervisor that you are committed to this position by creating and maintaining these expectations. It could be as simple as setting how long it will take you to respond to an email. This will allow you and your supervisor to know these expectations so there is no miscommunication later on. Plus, it gives you a guide to follow.

4. Deliver what you promised

Make sure you live up to everything you made yourself out to be in the application process. Do not back down on any of those promises you made. Take the time to go back and remember what exactly it was that impressed the people who hired you. This will remind you what you can be doing to impress the higher-ups, but also assure yourself that you have ideas that people want to see happen.

5. Get yourself organized

Organization is key. Take the time to do whatever it is that helps you stay organized. Make sure you are comfortable and ready to dive into anything. Organization will give you peace of mind as you begin to start the chaos of learning the ropes, and it will help you form good habits. This may take time, but it could save you from many headaches.

Take the time to set yourself up at the beginning of a new job or internship, it could make or break the summer for you. So even though it will require a little extra work, the results are worth it.

**Tips provided by Business Insider

Who says ‘Grunt Work’ is a Bad Thing?

May 20, 2015

By: Sam Pelham, @SamanthaPelham

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When a person accepts an internship position, or really any job, they often worry what their first few months will be like; possibly nothing but getting coffee or cleaning toilets. These monotonous jobs are sometimes hard to understand why we are doing them, when we should be out learning about the future career we could hold. But grunt work is something everyone has to do and for good reason. In the end, it can teach us more about our job and work ethic than we ever thought possible.

Recently, I’ve started my first internship and although I’m lucky enough to be given the opportunity to learn directly about PR, there are the days when the grunt work still must be done. At first, I didn’t understand why I had to be the one doing it since I was there to learn about PR, not do household chores. The more I would do these repetitive chores though; I found how much of a learning experience it could be.

For example, I never thought I would be wrapping over 200 gifts for an event at an internship, but here I was making sure each gift was wrapped pristinely. To me, it seemed like there was a better use of my time, but eventually I realized this was more than just wrapping gifts. This was about being detail-orientated and keeping up a reputation.

Each one of the boxes had to be wrapped just right and look like it was the first one we had done, not like we were getting tired and sloppy. This means each detail from the corners being tucked in right to the way we put the brand sticker on had to be exact. By wrapping these gifts we weren’t doing grunt work, but rather keeping up the image of the professional and classic brand the company was giving out.

Another lesson learned through grunt work is how important it is to listen to people when they talk. There are countless hours spent standing around at conference call meetings, or at media gatherings and most of the time an intern or new employee won’t have much say. Just because you don’t have much of a voice at the time doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen. The amount of knowledge a person can gather while listening to others discuss can be endless.

You can pick up so much information by just doing small tasks your boss asks of you. It is by paying attention to your surroundings in areas like an office, or out in the field getting coffee, when you get to be the fly on the wall. Then, when you are asked for your opinion or ideas on something, you know how to give a response your peers will support and or at least understand.

There are many different forms of grunt work employers have you do just because they can, but none of that means you are any less important than the person next to you. The grunt work is something that needs to be done and can show not only your employer the type of work ethic and attitude you have when doing it, but can teach yourself something that applies to everyday life.

How to deal with rejection

May 19, 2015

By: Alex Corsi, @acorsi17

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Rejection is not something people like to face. It’s not even something people necessarily like to talk about. But let’s face it, not everything is going to work out in your favor. Especially in the public relations industry, where nothing is handed to you. Unfortunately, rejection happens, and it’s one of life’s necessary evils that we just have to deal with.

I applied for probably 20 internships this past semester, and unfortunately, I was not offered a single position. At the time, I was incredibly disappointed. Dealing with rejection is never easy, especially if you’ve worked so hard to build up a personal brand and resume that seems just not good enough. However heartbreaking it may be at the time, you will not die. It will be okay. You will make it through. Here are some tips to making the best of rejection, from the queen of rejection herself.

1. Realize what your rejection really means.

A lot of companies told me I was too far away from their office to even do an interview or I was too young and they were looking for rising seniors. Other times their emails came with no explanations; they issued the standard “due to our high volume of qualified candidates” excuse that of course left me with questions. And yes, while I was searching for an explanation, I realized that there is always going to be someone better than you. There will always be other opportunities. Better things are down the road.

2. Take it as a learning experience.

View rejection as a source of empowerment, not a setback. Utilize this disappointing time in your life to revamp your portfolio and tighten up your social media presence. Spend time trying out that perfect resume format you keep eyeing on Pinterest, or invest a little time and money in a professional headshot. There is always room for improvement, so give your resume and portfolio a second look (or third, or fourth, if you’re like me) and brush up on the areas that could use even the smallest enhancements.

3. Refocus your efforts.

Not having to prepare for a summer internship has allowed me to focus on other aspects of both my professional and personal life. In terms of my personal life, I started a new diet and got a summer job to save some cash for the upcoming school year. In professional aspects, I worked my tail off on my application for the ImPRessions board of directors, and I was fortunate enough to be offered the position of Director of Internal Affairs!

Rejection isn’t all bad. It initially stings and sometimes it’s hard to understand why it happens. But like any other life event, there are lessons we can take away, and realizing those lessons can make the hurt fade and strengthen us for the next attempt.

My Favorite Things ImPRessions Has Taught Me

April 23, 2015

By: Elise Mills, @itsELISElove

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Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things.

Teamwork really is dream work

PR is not a one-man show. No one person can successfully create and implement a campaign, though some will try. Each associate brings a different set of strengths that will further the account, and everyone trying their best creates unbelievable results.

Content is King

And research is Queen. Just because you have a great headliner, or idea does not guarantee its success. You must have content to back up that great idea. I loved learning that I had to do more than just come up with great ideas, I needed to put the work in and create the entire picture, not just one piece.

A campaign without a goal is not a campaign

Campaigns can run anywhere from hours to months, so having tangible goals is the best way to keep your account motivated. How can you achieve a goal you don’t know you have? You have to determine the amount of imPRessions, interactions, or anything else you are hoping to measure your level of success. Then, help the associates learn how to measure this success; it is a great award to achieve your goals.

Anyone can be a PR Star

The great thing about ImPRessions is that you are not alone. You have other associates, Assistant Executives, Executives, Supervisors, and others who are all rooting for you and are willing to help. Any plant provided with food, water and sunlight will continue to grow, and I have learned this past year that ImPRessions gives you all the tools to succeed. All you have to do is want it.

Find Your Focus: How to Narrow that Over Involvement

April 22, 2015

By: Sam Miller, @keepcalmsam14

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I’m sure we all remember our first weekend on campus. After a riveting speech from President McDavis, your entire class marches up Richland Avenue to College Gate, and here you truly become a bobcat. Another event that everyone undoubtedly remembers is the involvement fair. Hundreds of organizations, and thousands of students, crammed onto College Green, each of them trying to find the place they want to get involved. If you’re like me, then you probably signed up for at least 10 clubs, but you only became a member of about half of them.

Fast forward to the end of the year. You’re beginning to realize that you are spreading yourself a little too thin with your involvement and you need to cut back. But where do you even start? I am currently having this experience, and was recently given some advice on how to limit my involvement to three activities, and I’m passing it along to help all my over-involved friends out there.

1. Keep it professional

When it comes to deciding on organizations to keep, the one at the top of the list could be your pre-professional organization. These organizations for all the PR stars out there would be PRSSA, ImPRessions, SPJ, or Ad Club. These are the organizations that focus on your development and are going to arm you with the skills that will make you extremely hirable as you make your way into the work field.

2. Stay true to your values

The next organization that you should be sure to keep is any that advance your values and opinions. It is important to not lose sight of the things you believe in as you make your way through college. These organizations will help you do that. Examples of these organizations include any political parties student organizations, those with affiliation to special interest groups, or ones that have religious connections.

3. Having Fun

These groups are the ones you do for the heck of it. Your involvement in these groups should serve as the place where you forget about classes and go to relieve stress. These could include anything from a group that talks about your nerdy TV obsession, or one that works to give back to the community. Never underestimate the importance of keeping one of those organizations. It could be the one thing that keeps you sane.

Bonus: Once you choose your three organizations, it is then up to you to gauge your involvement in them. It is important to focus on the quality of your involvement as opposed to the quantity. If you devote all your time to one organization, and can only attend one meeting a month in the other two, do that. The people running the organizations will totally understand because we’re all college kids and we’re all in the same boat when it comes to involvement.

PaRtner’s Conference 2015

April 21, 2015

By: Jess Carnprobst, @jess_carnprobst

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This past Saturday, Melaina Lewis, Allison Evans, Kelsey Miller and I traveled to Columbus for this year’s PaRtner’s Conference at Capital University. After attending last year’s conference at Ohio State, I was excited to see what was in store.

Capital welcomed us with some breakfast foods, juice and coffee, before starting the keynote speaker. Then at 9, we heard from Amanda DeCastro, who is currently working at Resource Ammirati and talked to us about the things we won’t learn in school. She told us to have an elevator speech, learn to speak in public, take big risks, build our online presence wisely, understand that we will fail, become an expert in one thing, listen, find a work/life balance that works for you, master the art of writing and storytelling, bring a pair of flats (this one was for the ladies), you will get hung up on when calling people, don’t burn bridges and lastly my favorite advice, make your passion your paycheck.

In our first breakout session, we chose to attend the “art of the resume” workshop, gaining a professional’s understanding of the resumes we turn in. Here we learned that it’s important to be careful when choosing to create a design heavy resume, because every professional looking at it will have a different opinion. To reiterate on something we’ve learned at OU, they stressed the importance of tailoring resumes to a specific job and finding a way to link the skills gained in a previous position with the job description of the position you’re applying for. Others attended the personal branding workshop, which helped those students gain further understanding to the importance of establishing and maintaining a brand both on and offline.

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For session number two, we moved downstairs to learn more about advanced internships, while some stayed upstairs to learn about internships 101. Here, we were prepared for the difference between college life and a job. They stressed the importance of remembering to ask questions as a new full-time employee, and to own the projects you will be given. This is your job now and it’s expected that you do well.

Next, the moment we had been waiting for, a picnic with professionals! Capital University packed us boxed lunches and gave us an informal opportunity to talk with speakers and local professionals, while enjoying our food.

After lunch, we participated in a PR campaign competition seeking to help the Ronald McDonald House in Columbus give thanks to their many volunteers, while recruiting new volunteers. Each of the three groups had an hour to create a news release, social media component, overall goal and strategy and an additional component. All three teams created unique yet exciting campaigns and pitches. Kelsey’s team walked away with the best news release, Melaina’s team walked away with the best pitch and Allison and my team walked away with the best social media campaign and overall campaign.

Overall, this day reinforced the importance of getting to know members from local PRSSA chapters. Between sessions and during the lunch, it was nice talking to other students and hearing their perspective on things, as each school structures their PR classes and PRSSA differently. We all had a fun day of networking in Columbus, and came away with reinforced understandings as well as new perspectives!

Internship Checklist: What You Need to Do

April 14, 2015

By: Austin Ambrose; @tex_ambrose7

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We are sadly winding down the school year, and there is a million and one events we all have to attend. Before we know it May will be here and internships will begin. Starting a new internship can be intimidating, and returning to one will bring new challenges. After having had experienced and out-of-state internship, for the first time, with few expectations, I learned this unknown checklist to go through. To help prevent others from making my mistake, here is a nice little list of a few things to remember for your internships this summer.

1. Check Out Your Living Situation

Make sure you take the time to do research on where you will be living if it is provided. Don’t just assume they will provide everything, or you will be doing late night Walmart run your first night there to get the much needed coffee pot, toilet paper and dishes. Also, if you know someone who has interned in the same city you are, ask them for advice on where to live. They will have had the trial and error process and know where the good places are. If you are living at home, make sure the people who buy the food have the must needed snack pack and PB&J.

2. Explore the City

If you are venturing somewhere new, make sure you take the time to learn the city. As old-fashioned as it sounds, look at a map of the city, it can even be Google Map. Learn the orientation of the city so you are not lost upon arriving. Then when you get there, learn the best way for transportation. This will save confusion when you think 3rd North will connect with 3rd South and never does.

3. Standout

This may sound like something we all should do, but not everyone will volunteer to take the meeting minutes, or that extra project. You don’t necessarily have to do something amazing, just do more to let people know who you are. You may want to return next year and they will remember who you are, or they may want to hire you in the future. Make the effort to standout from the crowd.

4. Savor the Moments

Internships fly by. It’s a couple short months of intense work with people you may have never met before this experience. Get to know your coworkers, your employer, and soak up everything you are learning. You will regret it later if you didn’t get every second out of the experience that you could have. You coworkers may be great people to know later on.

Internships are exciting, scary and chaotic all in one. Go in prepared and everything will be great. Own the experience because there is so much to absorb.

Saving Sabra: Tips for Managing Crisis

April 13, 2015

By: Elizabeth Papas, @elizabethpapas_

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I woke up Wednesday morning and checked every single social media platform, before actually making the commitment to leave my bed. While I scrolled through my Twitter feed, I came across a tweet that truly struck my inner foodie. The tweet read RECALL, and was accompanied by the label of my favorite hummus brand. On Wednesday, Sabra Hummus sent out a press release explaining the company’s recall of 30,000 cases of its classic style hummus. The recall was a result of listeria contamination in a random sampling of their product. As a regular consumer of Sabra’s products, I was immediately concerned and felt mistrust toward the brand.

As aspiring PR professionals, we might be faced with a client crisis, similar to Sabra’s hummus recall. It can be imperative to our client’s business, and reputation, that we are able to handle crisis in an effective and timely manner. In order to prepare for crisis, we can familiarize our selves with these three crisis management tips.

1. Be Aware

Before sending out any information to the public, it is important to fully understand what the situation is and why it has happened. Being aware of the crisis can make explaining the situation to the public much easier. In addition, listen to the brand’s audience on social media, and gauging consumer’s reactions might help pin point the most effective way for the brand to address the crisis.

2. Be Honest

Once it becomes time to distribute information to the public, it is important for the information to be honest and accurate. Encouraging clients to remain transparent throughout the heat of the crisis can help maintain and restore trust with consumers. Honesty will also help in preventing the brand from attracting any additional problems.

3. Open Channels of Communication

After addressing the crisis to the public, be sure to encourage consumers to contact the company with questions or concerns. Opening the channels of communication between the company and consumers can ensure the public that the brand has nothing to hide. In addition, it might be helpful to address consumer’s concerns directly on social media. For example, returning a negative tweet regarding the crisis with a positive proactive comment.

It is true that crisis does and will occur; however, being prepared to act appropriately in the situation can save a client’s business. Therefore, if one is found in a moment of crisis it can be helpful to recall these three simple tips.

What Your Favorite ‘Parks & Recreation’ Character Says About Your PR Style

April 8, 2015

By: Lindsey Zimmerman, @lindseyzim716

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This past February, fans of America’s favorite small-town government said goodbye to the characters and storylines that had become a modern television classic over the past seven seasons. Although we’ll never get to see the Parks & Rec crew embark on any new adventures, the messages of their stories extend far beyond the fictional city limits of Pawnee, Indiana. Due to the show’s workplace-centered plot, your favorite member of the Parks department could say a lot about your own personal work ethic, particularly in an industry like public relations.

Leslie Knope 

You get stuff done. You’re not afraid to work hard for what you believe in, even if it’s not the most popular choice. You’re the type to dream up a crazy, out-of-this-world, outrageous campaign and actually pull it off, because you have the drive to make it happen.

Ron Swanson 

You’re probably the strong, silent type, and might not be much for small talk, but your coworkers and friends have no doubt that you care about them. You’re a perfectionist and wouldn’t even dream of executing any part of a campaign unless you’re confident that it’s the best it can be.

Tom Haverford
You’re an optimist who sees potential in everything. For you, there is no idea too far-fetched and no client too difficult to handle, thanks to your innovative and creative mindset. You have a lot of passion for life in general and a particular knack for business.

Andy Dwyer
You’re a little kid trapped in an adult’s body, but as Andy demonstrates, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You give everything 110 percent, even if it’s not something that you want to be doing, because you know that giving it your all is necessary to get you where you want to be. The word “jealousy” is not in your vocabulary – you are nothing but happy for your friends and coworkers when they achieve their goals.

April Ludgate
You’re crazy smart and sarcastic to a fault. Not one to waste time, you cut to the chase and make an impulsive decision if that’s what needs to be done. If you find yourself in a professional role that isn’t quite what you want to do, you work hard to create your own opportunities instead of thinking about what could be.

Ben Wyatt
A true data geek at heart, you’re the one who gets legitimately excited about campaign analytics and the numbers behind them. Despite your enthusiasm for the statistical side of things, you have a great imagination and work hard to turn your ideas into reality.

Chris Traeger 

You’re a natural leader, but you don’t let this get to your head, and you treat everyone with the respect they deserve. You are constantly trying to be the best version of yourself and this shows in your work as well.

Ann Perkins
Just like the show’s very own resident PR girl, you’re calm, cool and collected, and know how to keep your head on straight under pressure. Thanks to your ability to see the best in people and situations, you probably have a knack for crisis communications.

Donna Meagle
You are confident in your abilities and ideas and not afraid to tell it like it is. You know right away when something isn’t going to work and will try to put a stop to it rather than watching the potential disaster unfold. You’re extremely creative and have the smarts it takes to bring your ideas to life.

Jerry Gergich
Extremely devoted to your career, you come into work every day with a smile on your face and consider your coworkers to be like family. You might be a little accident prone, but you can own up to your mistakes and usually recognize what went wrong.

I’d consider myself to be mostly like Leslie with a little bit of April thrown in. Which character speaks to you PR style?

The New Scope Periscope Brings to News

April 7, 2015

By: Erin Golden,@eringolden

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By now, everyone’s probably heard of the immediately popular, Twitter-created app, Periscope. Periscope allows people with a mobile device (and the app) to live-stream video content.

The Meerkat app, which was released first and was heavily funded right before Periscope, has failed miserably after Periscope launched. Periscope’s usage and downloads have recently spiked and passed the downloads and the rankings of Meerkat. A large difference between the two apps is that Periscope saves the content on the app for 24 hours after the first live broadcast.

We can use our phones to live-stream events straight to the Internet in real-time, so what?

An app like this, however, could drastically change the news industry for media and for brands as well.

Here’s what apps like Periscope could mean for the PR/media industry.

  • We (the people) become even more of a “citizen journalist.” Giving the public the ability to be the first to report on events with video is a big deal. Now, big-time news outlets like CNN or Fox have competitors when it comes to quickly broadcasting real-time news. People with their phones might be able to post the content and spread the news faster than a news crew can get there. This doesn’t mean the quality will be high – just like citizens posting incorrect information on Twitter and Facebook, live video can still be taken out of context. However, seeing is believing, which makes it easier for a developing story to tell itself through an app like Periscope.
  • Brands could be hesitant to dive into a live-streaming app. It’s been stated that Twitter probably won’t be able to filter all of the content coming through Periscope. This could mean events that weren’t scheduled or monitored could be out on the web before a brand’s communication team might even be aware. Crisis communication anyone?! For this reason, brands might be hesitant to invest and partner with live video streaming like Periscope.
  • Global connections are made even easier. Periscope seamlessly connects users to other users all over the world, therefore really focusing in on the “international connectivity” aspect of social media. When traditional media reports internationally, it’s often from the perspective of a journalist who is not a native of the country, possibly skewing the reporting or having a bias on the news. Periscope allows people all over the world to glimpse into another’s life and view it from their perspective; from all the way across the world to right down the street.

No one (even us PR pros) can predict the future of technology and the effects of every new app that comes on the market. But, apps like Periscope harbor the potential to possibly change the landscape of the public relations and media markets.

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