Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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The Best Things Fall Brings

October 24, 2014

By: Jennica Lurie @JennicaLurie

Photo via Allison Evans

Photo via Allison Evans

The transition from summer into the school year is hard for many, but with fall coming in like a wrecking ball, the idea of hot apple cider, #HallOUween and cuddling by the fireplace sedates the mind. While summer is great because of our freedom from the dozens of obligations that the school year brings, fall is in a category of its own. It’s a time to learn and grow without feeling overwhelmed by not having enough time to boost your grade in that one class, or rushing to finish the cover letter for that dream summer internship. There are 3 things we, as college students, must remember when trying to survive and thrive during the fall season:

  1. Look around you. This is the most beautiful season of them all. The leaves start to change colors and OU becomes one of the prettiest places you can imagine. So instead of getting ridiculously overwhelmed by that paper, two midterms and four club meetings, you have the opportunity take a deep breath and look around. Look up from your phone as you walk to class just one time. Take your headphones out and listen to the sounds of fall. Take it all in, because fall at Ohio University is as good as it gets.
  1. You have time. As a PR major, fall is the time to research that internship that you’ve wanted for so long. The great part about it is that you can spend hours upon hours looking up internships that lead you from one website to the next without the pressure of application due dates around the corner. You should absolutely be thinking about what you want to do this upcoming summer, but it is important to remember there is still time. Email the professors that you would like a letter of recommendation from, just to say hi and check in. Maintain important connections that will help you get where you want to go. But most importantly, don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re at the best college in the nation (maybe I’m biased) pursuing exactly the right major for you. Everything else will fall into place (pun intended).
  1. Fall activities are the best. Personally, my favorite fall activity is drinking hot cider wrapped up in a blanket by the fireplace with my best friends. When else can you drink hot caramel apple cider and not feel the least bit guilty about it? Immerse yourself in all things fall because when winter hits you’ll be sad you didn’t make that one last trip to the pumpkin patch or lose yourself in a corn maze.

I could go on and on about all of the fantastic opportunities fall brings, but these three concepts are vital in making the best of your fall experience this year. Don’t miss out on the hype because you were too lazy to leave your dorm on a Sunday afternoon, even though you didn’t have any homework to do. Just always remember, soon the trees will be bare and Starbucks will stop serving the hot caramel apple cider that you’ve craved all season.

Why Ebola is the Perfect PR Client

October 23, 2014

By: Meredith Broadwater @Mere_Broadwater

ebolaWe all know Ebola as the possibly fatal disease that everyone’s afraid of getting, but not a lot of people know what it really is – however they’re paying attention to it.

Public relations can change the way people identify one product, or disease in this case, compared to another. Ebola is one-of-a-kind, so it’s the most ideal client for a public relations professional.

  1. Ebola is already internationally known. Part of the job is already done! Everyone knows the client, but the problem is that it’s a negative image because it’s a disease (obviously). However, not a lot of people know what it actually is. When you tell people something about Ebola, they’ll pay attention because they don’t want to die.

    A little Ebola lesson: According to the CDC there are only three confirmed cases in the United States, all in Texas.

  2. People are scared, so they’ll pay attention to messages about it. According to a New York Post article, airline sales are going down because people don’t want to risk getting infected by another passenger. People have been canceling flights, selling their airline stocks and taking other steps to avoid flying.
    People continue to take drastic measures to avoid getting a disease that three out of 319 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with.

    Ebola is only spread through body fluids and blood, it’s not airborne, but the virus can live on objects (like doorknobs and counters) for up to a few hours.

  3. Ebola isn’t selfish. It understands that you have other things to do. It’s selfish because it’s a virus and wants to contaminate everything it comes in contact with, besides your job as a PR professional. It understands that there are other clients to deal with and classes to study for because when you come back to it, it’s still there. Ebola will always be there for you.
  4. Your market is defined for you: every human being. Part of public relations is finding your target market, but with Ebola, anyone can get it. The CDC has no evidence that dogs or cats can get the virus, so your pets are safe. Your message will be broad, but that makes it more exciting!
  5. Ebola has a story to tell. It may not have traveled through seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, or through the sea of swirly twirly gumdrops, but it came from somewhere. 

How to stay focused after week 8

October 22, 2014 2 Comments

By: Danielle Meyer @DanielleMeyer17


Week 8 of the semester has come and gone, and there are still many weeks ahead of us until the finish line halfway through December. It’s no joke when people tweet #TheStruggleIsReal because I for one, agree. Trying to stay focused on classes and not lose side of your goals is in truth a struggle. However, I’ve found that a few things can help, and make the drudgery of school a little less miserable.

  1. Find your favorite place to study. Whether it’s at the Front Room, Court Street Coffee, or a quiet table on the 4th floor of Alden, find a place where you can really focus and get your work done. Distractions only make for a harder time, and you’ll only feel more stressed when you can’t get your work done because your surroundings are not a productive environment.
  2. Find a “study buddy”. Studying with a friend or someone who is in the same class as you could potentially help you get through a long night of hitting the books With a friend by your side you can help each other out by quizzing each other on flash cards and helping each other review notes.
  3. Remember why you’re here. It can be easy to get caught up in the extra aspects of school, and this can either lead to further procrastination and or just added stress. There will always be other stress with clubs, roommates and relationships, but in the words of my mom, “you’re here to get a degree.” Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to remind yourself of that, and you won’t feel as stressed if you get your work done first.
  4. Reward yourself. With all that being said, don’t forget that sometimes you might just need a break. If you spent all night studying in Alden, go ahead and take a nap the next day. If you found out that you aced an exam, don’t be afraid to go out for a night with your friends. College is all about balance, and too much of one thing is never good. You can be the most productive and successful version of yourself if you keep a balance between working hard and playing hard.

Finals week is not something to feel dread and anxiety over (although most of us undoubtedly will). During these last few weeks of the semester, remember to just take one day at a time and enjoy every minute of it. This is what college is all about, and it’s important to remember to embrace it, even at 4 a.m. in Alden Library.

National Conference: It’s More than Just a Trip

October 21, 2014

By: Jess Carnprobst @jess_carnprobst

PRSSANCLast week, I attended my second PRSSA National Conference in Washington DC. Last year I attended PRSSANC in Philadelphia, and I’ve also been to two PRSSA Regional Conferences, making this fourth conference overall. With these experiences under my belt, I have countless notes in my notebook, new connections on social media and new career ideas in my head. Most importantly, after each conference I learn something new about myself. These are the biggest reasons I believe every college student should attend at least one national conference.

Make your connections personal 

I know how important it is to network with the person who can help you get the dream internship or job, but it’s important to see past what they can do for you. When you’re meeting new people (and you’ll meet hundreds) find a connection with them. It doesn’t need to be PR related, but find a way to make your connections personal and worthwhile.

Question your career path 

This is the best time for to question your career path! Question every single goal or idea you have. It’s ok not to know. You’ll be sitting in so many sessions throughout the duration of the conference, learning about so many topics you never knew were a possibility in PR. Now is the best time to think big and continue developing your goals. Conferences are made to help you decide where you want to go and what you want to do.

Step outside of your comfort zone

Going off of my last point, you’ll get the most out of your time at your conference if you step out of your comfort zone. Attend sessions that seem different, interesting or something you know nothing about, and just see what you learn. When you attend a conference you’re probably in a different city. Take the time to go sight seeing and go on adventures you’ve never been on. Sometimes you can learn just as much by exploring on your own as you would at the actual conference. The two go hand and hand to teach you about your career as well as about yourself.

Follow through

It’s so easy to forget to make that LinkedIn connection or send the email you promised when you get back home. Don’t let yourself do this. Whether it takes an annoying alarm or a spot on your to do list, follow through with the promises you made at the conference.

It’s not always about listening to the speakers, but it is about growing as a professional. While you’re there, follow these steps while adding some of your own to maximize your experience. Take advantage of conferences and go to as many as you can, because they’re an experience of a lifetime.

Denny’s: PR Genius or Insanity

October 20, 2014

By: Amanda Moline @mandamoline

Face it: you’re addicted to Twitter. You follow everyone from TSwift to Stephen Colbert and that one girl from that one class you had a couple years ago. But you probably don’t follow Denny’s, and you definitely should.

Over the past several months, Denny’s has loosened up and narrowed their brand’s voice around goofy and often outrageous humor, aiming for a younger and more Internet savvy audience. The brand manages to combine humor with purpose by participating in trending hashtags, life-tweeting pop culture events such as award shows, and participating in various conversations that

American teens and young adults are having about music, celebrities and more. To prove that you should indeed take the plunge into syrupy social nonsense that is Denny’s twitter, here are seven times Denny’s won Twitter (and the Internet).

First off, as you start reading their tweets, you’ll wonder, “who the @$%# runs this account?”


Now, Denny’s loves their Top 40 hits, but they seem to have a strong love for Drake in particular. They even made their own emojis for him!





You can dance if you want to, Denny’s. You can leave those other restaurants behind.



And don’t worry – they paid their tribute to Queen Bey.



They make all sorts of references, like this ode to SpongeBob Squarepants.



They promote some really important causes.



They even had a 13-tweet long saga on National Coffee Day about a character ingeniously named Greg, who drinks so much coffee that he soars above the city: “using his super-caffeinated powers to thwart criminals and protect us from bono” where he apparently gets lost.



Denny’s has effectively joined the online conversation by leveling with their demographic, and setting the tone for other companies on Twitter. Their whimsical, teenage-minded approach on staying relevant sure does stick with you. At the end of the day, I believe that is what public relations is all about. You do you, Denny’s.

Summer Reflection Series: Logan Trautman

October 15, 2014

By: Logan Trautman @logantrautman

An internship is not only supposed to help you gain knowledge and experience, but guide you to figure out what the heck it is that you are meant to do after graduation. This is a somewhat terrifying thought considering there are so many available opportunities, but you are left to choose only one. So as spring semester rolled around last school year, and the internship hunt was in full swing, I found myself not only asking the typical questions of each opportunity – Is this paid? How many hours will I work? Will I be retrieving coffee and shredding papers all day? – and if this is an experience that will help shape my future.

Luckily, I ended up at MediaSource, a media relations firm in Columbus, OH. I was one of two media relations interns that worked for 10 weeks with this small but mighty company. I learned valuable skills in the field of media relations, sure, but what this internship taught me most is what to look for in a future career.

  1. Find a company culture that fits your personality. When I first spoke with MediaSource representatives, they handed me a container of jellybeans, which happened to be the color of their brand. From that moment on I knew the environment that I worked in would be creative, fun and innovative. It was exactly what I was looking for!
  2. Find a location you can call home. My hometown is Pittsburgh so living in a new city with no source of income (I clearly didn’t pick my internship for the previously mentioned paid or unpaid aspect) wasn’t exactly comforting. However, by the end of my internship I had grown so attached to Columbus and the incredible people I met there I shed a tear knowing I had to go back to my real home.
  3. Meet as many people as humanly possible. Being in the field of PR this may be a bias statement, but people are awesome. My internship taught me the importance of not only creating relationships, but also maintaining them. There are many times when it won’t be about what you know, but about who you know.

Now that I’m a senior, I plan to take these bits of wisdom and apply them to my upcoming, and final year at Ohio University!


Facebook Posts: Text vs. Photo

October 13, 2014

By: Annie Beard @annie_beard

Ah, the ongoing debate… Which drives more Facebook traffic and engagement, photos or text? There are many studies to figure out the answer to this question, but there is never one correct answer.

For example, John Loomer Digital found the following results from its Facebook posts over one year, which showed that status updates reached more people than photos and links. Many people argue that this is because Facebook surfaces text-only posts in a News Feed more often than photos.


However, HubSpot found that photos drive higher engagement than the average post, which then drives more traffic.


Both studies may be correct and true, but they are driving traffic differently.

So, what does that mean?

It means that there is never one right answer, and you should find what works best for your page and your fans. In order to do so, you might have to do some experimenting to see if text or photos work better. Facebook Insights is a great resource to use to compare different types of posts that you have created in the past. It allows you to see the type of post, how many people it reached and how much engagement it got. From there, you see what works best and what will help you reach the goals that you have made. Also, keep in mind that it is important to use multiple types of posts so that your fans don’t get bored of only pictures or only text.

While I don’t believe there is one right answer that applies to every business’ Facebook page, I do believe that every business can find what works best for it. So, to give a simple answer, find the type of post that your audience reacts to the best, and post away!

Summer Reflection Series: Angela Keane

October 10, 2014

By: Angela Keane @angela_keane

cinciWhenever professionals speak at our classes or at PRSSA meetings, they always stress one thing: get experience. Since freshman year I knew that I should try to get as many internships as possible, but I knew it would be hard because I had so little experience. So during the second semester of sophomore year I was looking everywhere for an internship. I got those emails from Debra and Karen about internships looking to hire Ohio University students and decided to apply to the internships in my hometown. Even though I applied to internships I didn’t really think I would actually get, I did. Over the summer I interned at the Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau and it taught me so much!

When I accepted their offer, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I had no idea what a convention and visitor’s bureau (CVB) was, but I quickly realized that they are very instrumental in bringing people from all over the country to Cincinnati. At the CVB we marketed Cincinnati in order to bring conventions to the city, which then would boost the city’s revenue.

After interning there all summer I learned how much Cincinnati had to offer. I thought I knew Cincinnati but I really didn’t. I learned so much about the place where I was from, and all the incredible things my city was doing everyday.

During my internship I learned what it was like to work in a real office environment. I learned how to not be afraid to ask questions, and how to fix mistakes I had made. Please pay attention to detail when turning things in. It makes you look more professional. The biggest tip I can give anyone is to always ask for more work! I was able to get involved in more projects because I was always asking what I could do for the communications and marketing department. What I loved about my internship was all of the local press conferences I got to go to. I was able to interact with the local news media, and that helped me make connections. Not to mention Vice President Joe Biden spoke at one of the conventions, which was an awesome experience!

Overall my internship experience was great! I was able to network with a lot of local people that I would have never met without Cincy USA. Your employers really know what they are doing, so take advantage of that and learn from them. Come to work excited and try to get the most out of your internship.

Summer Reflection Series: Hannah Wheeless

October 9, 2014

By: Hannah Wheeless @tweetsonwheels

sanantonioThis past summer I was fortunate enough to remember my roots down in the Lone Star State of Texas while gaining valuable knowledge of the PR industry. Interning at a major communications agency thousands of miles away from my OU home made for an incredible experience.

KGBTexas Communications is headquartered in San Antonio, but also has an office in Houston. They have clients both local and national including, the San Antonio Police Department, Benson Automotive, McDonalds and Walmart. I was a PR and advertising intern, which allowed me the opportunity to understand how both sides function. I learned everything from media lists to event planning while working with some of the most talented, creative and inspiring people I’ve ever met.

The top three things I took away from my internship are

Internships are not as scary as I thought

I remember being a freshman at my first PRSSA meeting hearing all about internships and how crucial it was that I had a good one or I basically wasn’t getting a job. Cue my first mental breakdown. Luckily, just as everyone says, everything will work out and it did. I learned that confidence is key, and as long as you’re doing the best you can do, everything will be fine. However successful, important and down right intimidating the employees you work with are, they are just people and they’re there to help.

I don’t know everything and nobody expects me to

Internships exist so you can learn what a classroom lecture can’t teach you. No matter how big or small the business you intern at, everyone is there to teach you something. I made plenty of mistakes in my short six weeks, but I learned from those mistakes, and now I can recite the phone number to every news station in San Antonio.

It’s important to get to know who I’m working with

We’ve all heard it before: it’s not what you know – it’s who you know. KGB was a fairly smaller agency, so I was given the opportunity to meet and work with almost everyone. Not only did I work with them in the office, but also I frequently tagged along on lunch breaks with different employees throughout my internship. Getting to actually sit down and learn about the person I was sitting with in an office with for eight hours a day helped me advance in my internship, and will certainly help me in the future.

The next step is using all of this knowledge to get that dream job. We’ll start with goals of this semester.

Put together a portfolio

I can talk about what I did at my internship for days, but if I don’t actually have anything to show then not a lot of people employers care.

Get on Dean’s List

It is about who you know, but that will only get me so far. Any employer can appreciate a nice set of PR skills, and the GPA to back it up.

Manage the stress

Between the work, school and campus clubs it’s easy to have a breakdown or twelve. If I can remember to go for a nice run or kick it on the couch every now and then, I think I’ll find making these goals happen a little easier. As a senior, it’s important to live this last beautiful bobcat year to the fullest.






Summer Reflection Series: Erica Stonehill

October 8, 2014

3 Lessons, 2 Jobs, 1 Summer: Where PR, Panera, and Aeropostale overlap

By: Erica Stonehill @estonehill13


This summer I took on the exhausting task of working two jobs. I’ve been a tried and true Panera Bread employee for going on three years, and recently landed a position at the local Aeropostale. After learning more about public relations in the past year, I’ve noticed on more than one occasion how my current jobs intermix with my future career.

  • The customer is always right – As frustrating as it may be sometimes, you are employed to make others happy. That is your job. If a customer requests no broccoli in her broccoli cheddar soup, you will stand there and fish every green tree out of her bowl because you are paid to please.

    Very rarely does a customer/client leave unsatisfied and only think poorly of the one person they dealt with – the blame falls back on the entire company. Sally Smith didn’t give me loads of broccoli in my soup, Panera Bread did. You are the face of an entire company, and your mistakes become everyone’s mistakes. Please the client at all costs, because one bad review can outshine ten outstanding ones.

  • You will never know it all – My first few shifts at Aeropostale were nerve racking. I was so used to being a veteran at Panera that it was terrifying to be the new kid again. Retail and fast food are two totally different ball games, and I realized that immediately. I had to adapt to the different environment quickly and understand both types of customers that I was working for.

    When working in the food industry you’re expected to greet the customer and be friendly, but quick. Get them their food and move on. Retail requires a conversation, the building of trust and ability to relate to the customer. The same goes for PR. Some clients will want to build a relationship with you and others will want the job done quickly and clean. You have to be able to adapt and read your client. Everyone is different, and it’s your job to please them all.

  • Loyalty goes a long way – I’ve had the pleasure of gaining “regulars” at Panera, this summer. I opened almost five days a week, and as a result, I see a lot of the same customers on a weekly (or daily) basis. One particular lady came in every morning, and instead of bringing her Panera card, has me look it up by her phone number. After a few visits I had her number memorized, and now when she comes in, she knows I already have her squared away. Last week I forgot her coffee when she came through the drive thru, but because I had built a sense of loyalty with her she was understanding and didn’t get upset when she had to come back for it.

    Treat each client as an individual rather than a task, and they will notice. In the event that you do make a mistake, they’re more likely to understand and excuse it. There are plenty of other companies they could go to. Remind them every day why yours is the better choice and it will not only keep your relationship strong, but it will bring in new clients as well.

Even though I didn’t have an internship this summer like many of my fellow classmates, I still tried to gain knowledge and experiences from my two jobs. I was surprised by how much they connected back to public relations. Doing whatever to please the client, giving yourself room to grow in everything you do, and building loyalty with your clients are three important parts of PR, as well as retail or fast food. My summer wasn’t all glitz and glamour in a big city, but I learned a few things that I will be able to use in the future.





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