Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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The Taco Bell Blackout

October 30, 2014

By: Kelly Hayes @kmshayes

If you haven’t heard already, Taco Bell is on a blackout. Yes, a blackout. If you try to check any of their social media pages you’ll get this:

tacobell

 

Now I’m sure you’re wondering why Taco Bell, one of the best brands on social, would purge their followers. The answer: a genius ploy to promote their new app.

Is it genius?

Taco Bell has always been one of the funniest brands to follow on social media, especially Twitter and Snapchat. While they may have just purged all of their following this past week, people are still going back to follow. The reason: it’s Taco Bell.

Now many are excited because now you can order Taco Bell from your phone! Instead of going through the drive through and waiting, you can order anything on the menu from your phone. Saving you time, and getting you to your tacos faster. While purging all of these followers is just a marketing trick to get you to download the app, because it’s #OnlyInTheApp, it’s working.

Looking at this from a PR standpoint, this could be considered a genius ploy to get people to download their app and ‘create buzz’. Because let’s face it, apps are starting to become annoying space hogs on our phone – especially if you have an iPhone and need to download an update. However, Taco Bell might have just figured out their way around it by making it so they aren’t available on social media anymore. Just look at their Tumblr page:

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While this may be making headlines for the brand there are some downsides to the blackout.

Blackout = no engagement

Taco Bell is one of those brands on Twitter that is constantly engaging with their customers, but with this blackout that engagement is no more. While many brands would kill to have an engagement level like Taco Bell’s, they just threw it away for an app. Because again, everything is #OnlyInTheApp.

However, is this app really worth it? Is this actual genius or did they just lose a big fan base all for an app? The answer: I’m not sure. If you look at this in the long run, Taco Bell will eventually have to go back online and try to gain all of their followers back. It could take them a pretty long time to regain their 1.4 million Twitter followers, but maybe the brand will bring their social media back with a story line. Who knows? It’s #OnlyInTheApp.

My Summer as a Snake-Wrangler

October 29, 2014

Summer Reflection Series: Rebecca Zook

By: Rebecca Zook @BeccaZook

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This past summer I spent my time interning as a writer and photographer for the Southern Ohio Copperheads. For any sports fanatic this is the best situation for a summer internship, it’s in a relaxed setting while still getting the full-fledged sports experience. After all it is summer, what more can you ask for other than sun, baseball and great coworkers?!

The Southern Ohio Copperheads is a summer collegiate baseball team stationed in Athens, Ohio. As a staff writer for the Copperheads, I covered community events, wrote game recaps, as well as feature stories on the team’s history and the players. On game days that I was not stationed in the press box covering the game, I spent the day as a staff photographer interacting with the crowd and capturing the moments that make Copperheads games special.

Although I did spend time dancing with fans on the dugouts and joking around with coworkers, I still learned a lot about sports communications this summer.

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  1. Always Be Willing to try New Things. Going into my internship this summer I was strictly a staff writer, but at the first game the staff photographer they originally chose was suddenly unavailable. I had my own DSLR camera and a little photography experience, so I volunteered to be the photographer for every game that I wasn’t writing – which was about 75% of games, since the recaps were split among the four staff writers. This was by far the best decision I made. Not only did I get great writing experience, but I also got to be a sports photographer for the first time. Granted I’m not an award-winning photographer by any means, but I definitely improved my skills. I also got to be a part of the communications staff that interacted with the fans, which was incredible.
  1. Become Friends with Your Coworkers. Your coworkers can be the best or worst part of your internship. They can either make you hate going to work or they can be the reason why you arrive to work early. In my case this summer, my coworkers were one of the many perks of working for the Copperheads. The general staff are all Ohio University Sports Administration Sports Management undergrads taking a summer course. For the course their assignment is to run the Copperheads organization throughout the season. My fellow “snake-wranglers” (as all the staff is affectionately named), were not only my coworkers at the field or classmates during the school year, they were also my friends. Having a good relationship with my coworkers made even the rain delays entertaining and fun.

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  1. Find Passion in What You’re Doing. This is the best piece of advice I can give to anyone. Loving what you do is something that affects your entire life. If you can find passion in some small thing about your job or internship, it just makes that experience a hundred times better and gives you motivation to excel at what you’re doing. Personally, I am a huge sports fan and baseball is by far my favorite sport. Getting to go to the ballpark everyday to work with people who were just as passionate about their work as I was, made this internship feel less like a job that I had to go to, but more like an event with friends. My internship with the Copperheads was an amazing experience and the work environment is something I can only hope to find in my career in the future.
  1. Take Me Out to the Ballgame is Actually Very Hard to Sing on Key. The last thing I learned through my internship with the Copperheads may not seem important to the majority of you, however I had to get up on the dugout of every home game with all the staff and sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Now it may not seem like it, but this “simple” song is actually really hard to sing on key. As much as we like to believe that we sound like a classic recording of this tune, I can promise you that the thirty of us standing on the dugout sounded more like a mix between a walrus and an injured moose.

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If you want to read my articles or learn more about the Southern Ohio Copperheads, check out the website at www.copperheadbaseball.com

 

How Fitness Apps Reshaped The Way We Workout

October 28, 2014

By: Emily Peterson @empeteee

appWe all know that it’s hard to stay fit in college. Between a full course load, a part-time job and a multitude of resume-building extra-curriculars, finding time to make it to the gym is next to impossible. However fitness is important, and there are now many options available to get in a quick 15-minute workout between classes. Nike is a front-runner when it comes to fitness apps, but there are many other apps that are not only helpful, but also free. After some researching, I found the three most user-friendly fitness apps for college students.

  1. Nike Running. If you love to be outside, this is the perfect app to keep track of your runs, routes and pace. Even if you only have 20 minutes, there is no excuse not to get outside and get your blood flowing. This app tracks your mileage and times, and bonus! lets you sign up and add friends. You can compare your runs to your friends’ to add some friendly competition that also makes you more motivated to go a little further on your next run.
  2. Nike Training Club. This app is full of 15-minute workouts that exercise different parts of your body. You can choose from cardio, strength training and circuit training. After each workout, you earn a certain number of points, and you can unlock different workouts once you have enough points. These workouts are usually based on the workout plans of famous athletes. They can be done anywhere, even in your dorm room, and they’re short enough to do between your 11:50 class and lunch.
  3. Lose It! This app is just as important as the other two, although it doesn’t offer workout tips. Instead, this app lets you monitor your daily calorie intake by logging your meals and workouts. This app is perfect for losing weight in a healthy way because it will put together a plan for you based on the amount you want to lose and how fast you want to lose it.

With so many different options available, there is no excuse to put off a workout. These apps have done much of the work for you, and are great at motivating you to stay healthy and on track with your exercises. Remember that as important as it is to get an A on that exam you’ve been cramming for, it’s just as important to stay healthy and take care of yourself.

What To Do To Prepare For A Study Abroad

October 27, 2014 1 Comment

By: Emma Perrin @emma_perrin17

barcelona-spain

For as long as I can remember, it’s been a dream of mine to study abroad. By the time I began my journey at Ohio University last fall, my longing for adventure had already kicked in and I immediately began researching how I could make my dreams of international study a reality. I was recently accepted into a study abroad program in Barcelona, Spain for spring semester, and I couldn’t be more excited! But I’m quickly realizing that living abroad for 4 months is a big responsibility that requires a great deal of planning. Below are a few tips based on my own experience for anyone who is interested in taking the steps toward making their own travel dreams come true!

  • Getting Started. Your first step should be to meet with one of the advisers in the Office of Education Abroad. They can offer valuable guidance when it comes to building the experience that will be right for you. They’re always willing to answer questions about the study abroad process (which can at times be a little overwhelming), so don’t hesitate to utilize this valuable resource!
  • Funding. Studying abroad can be a huge financial investment, but it’s more doable than a lot of people think. Ohio University offers a large number of study abroad programs, which students can apply university financial aid, and they also offer other scholarships to help fund the costs of studying abroad. With a little extra research, students can find assistance from outside sources as well, such as national awards, blogging and photography scholarships, and help from local organizations like rotary clubs.
  • Passport/Visa. If you’ve never traveled abroad before, getting a passport should be very high on your to-do list. Generally, it takes 5-7 weeks upon application to receive a passport, so don’t delay! If you wait, you could run the risk of not getting a passport in time. Also, many countries require visas to live there for an entire semester, which also take about a month to process. In the case of Spain, visa applicants from Ohio must travel to the Spanish Consulate in Chicago to apply in person. While such processes vary from country to country, it’s worth checking out early so as not to run into any conflicts!
  • Classes. While the adventure of moving to another country for a few months is exciting, you have to remember that you are going to study! When you are deciding on a program, make sure that they offer classes that you will be able to put toward your degree. Plan to meet with a transfer adviser in your college who can help you determine which classes can transfer to Ohio University credits. Make their job easier by being prepared for that meeting: Print out the syllabi for the courses you plan to take abroad (which should be available online) and take them with you.
  • Research, research, research! Take some time to get to know the country and city that you will call home for a semester! Consider things like what immunizations you may need and the country’s currency exchange rate. However, also use the time before you depart to get excited about experiencing the food, music and history of another culture! Knowing what to expect will help you feel less nervous when it’s time to board your flight, and will help you feel more at home when you get there.

Traveling is a wonderful way to broaden your horizons and gain perspective on the world and your place in it. If it’s your dream to study abroad, it’s never too early to get started!

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

coffee

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?”

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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!

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

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

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

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They promote some really important causes.

D7

 

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.

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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!

 

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