Scripps Moves to Strategic Communication

By: Cori Sherman

Account Supervisor, GoBus and OHIO ROTC

The workforce is moving fast and it could reach the point of overwhelming today’s graduates. Can you answer phone calls, write press releases, develop creative strategies, manage social media, contribute to newsletters, create an advertisement, attend meetings, write analyses, do follow-ups on projects, manage the media, talk to the media, write columns, mentor younger employees, meet the demand of managers and manage to squeeze lunch in somewhere? All in one day? Well congratulations for those of you who can and say, “Hey, that was easy.” But, it’s not. And sadly, it’s not what graduates are ready to do.

The workforce is expecting a lot more from college graduates than what is on their diploma. Sure, we’ll all be walking away with a Bachelor’s in Journalism. But what else can we do with that? Now, we’re expected to do a lot more than write a few articles and send a few press releases.

The Scripps school has taken this bull by the horns. By 2012, the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism will be combining public relations and advertising, and not a minute too late. The love child of the two, strategic communications, will give Scripps students another leg-up in today’s competitive workforce.

Strategic communications will be teaching students both the advertising and public relations aspects of journalism. Something we have been waiting for. It’s not good enough just to know one trade in the business now; we must be able to know it all. Strategic communications will be able to help us do that.

It will better prepare students for the communications industry and gives students a lot more flexibility in their degree, instead of it just being strictly for advertising or strictly for public relations.

This summer, I worked at an advertising agency, tackling yet another entity of the broad topic of journalism. If I hadn’t had a background in public relations, I would have drowned. Having the two together makes me that much more accessible to future employers.

Being able to do both public relations and advertising all under one name will make future Scripps grads that much more accessible. This program is so necessary to today’s economy, if it had been implemented any later, Scripps would be falling behind in the journalism world.

I truly advise everyone to take a class in advertising, join Ad Club, sit down and talk to some of the professors from advertising or get an internship at an advertising agency. You won’t regret it! You’re just making yourself that much more dynamic.

What employer wouldn’t hire a Scripps student who has experience in not only talking to the press, but appealing to the audience?

We’re slowly evolving into journalism machines. Public relations and advertising go hand-in-hand. Before you know one, you ought to meet the other as well.

Interning in the Big Apple

By: Amanda Stefanik
Co-Account Executive, OU Performing Arts Series

For any student who is hesitant to apply for an internship because they feel like they don’t have enough experience or are worried about moving to the big city don’t be worried- APPLY!

I am the perfect example of someone who was worried about not having enough experience and almost didn’t apply for a PR internship with the Miss Universe Organization. I took a risk and am so happy that I did. My internship with the Miss Universe Organization was THE best internship experience that I could have ever had and I would recommend everyone to apply. I can’t write enough about this internship but am going to try and summarize my experience in four points.

  1. Hands on Work: On my first day, my boss called the other intern and I into her office and gave us our tasks. I was privileged enough not to be given typical intern tasks but hands on work that has broadened my portfolio more than I could have imagined. I wrote press releases and itineraries, edited blogs and program book letters, and pitched stories to secure interviews for contestants. I also attended events and interviews with the titleholders. I was very fortunate that my boss trusted me with major tasks. For example, I was in charge of overseeing the media credentials for the Miss USA pageant and working with all the media that attended events leading up to the pageant.
  2. Networking: This internship gave me the opportunity to network with so many people. In New York, I not only worked with the PR team from the Miss Universe Organization, but also agency professionals from Rubenstein Public Relations. When I went to Las Vegas, I was able to network with NBC Universal professionals, PR professionals who helped run events and everyone that helped make the Miss USA Pageant Telecast possible. Finally, since I worked so closely with the media throughout my internship, I made great media contacts with journalists throughout the country.
  3. Production: This internship was different because not only did I learn more about the PR industry, but also about how a major television production comes together. Everyone at the Miss Universe Organization works very closely, because everyone needs to be in the loop for the live telecast to come together. This taught me how important it is for the PR team to be aware and informed about what is going on!
  4. Big City: I not only grew professionally from this internship but also grew personally. By moving to NYC by myself, I became more independent and realized that moving to the big city after I graduate is something that I would love to do!

5 Steps to Landing Your Dream Internship

By: Nina Bressau
Account Supervisor, Bird Arena and Student Senate

After joining multiple student groups, completing various unpaid internships and building a network of professionals, I finally got my dream internship this summer before beginning my senior year. How? Build connections, retaining connections and consistently trying to get your foot into the door of the workplace. I tried to come up with five important points that help you get the internship you have always wanted.

1.     Build connections. They are everywhere.

You hear it over and over again: Meet professionals, introduce yourself, stay connected to classmates, professors and speakers. It’s true. I would probably not have gotten my current internship without the necessary connections.

One night I was dining at Wild Ginger in Hyde Park Cincinnati (FYI- delicious!) with my parents, when my dad recognized a woman sitting a few tables away from us. He told me she worked at a branding agency downtown Cincinnati and I was immediately interested in meeting her. I contacted her via email and set up an informational interview in her office at Landor. I was very impressed by the agency and developed more connections through my initial contact.

Again, people are everywhere. Get to know them.

2.     Stay in contact and try to meet in person.

When I set up an informational interview, I had the luck to meet in her office. I was able to see the interior of Landor and get an idea of the atmosphere. Meeting in person leaves a stronger impression and leads to better communication.

3.     Join every club that sounds interesting.

Although I major in PR, I was very active with the OU Advertising Association. I cannot stress how important it is to develop different skills, even if you think you know exactly what you would like to do one day. My current internship is in client services, which requires both PR and advertising skills. Although the majority of my work has been communications, it is very important to understand the industry when working at an advertising or branding agency.

4.     Be a good student.

Yes, you should retain a high GPA if you want to be considered for a valuable internship or job. I was told that most companies prefer to see a GPA starting at 3.6. More importantly, be nice to everyone you meet – you may need their help or advice one day.

5.     Be interested and be interesting.

Always be engaged and focused on your work. If you do not understand something, don’t be afraid to ask. My manager has told me she was very happy with my constant questions during the first weeks. Also, show your character and be yourself. Employers do not want to have a company full of the same talents. Be yourself and you will appear more interesting and likable.

Finally, the secret of succeeding in your internship? Enjoy every single moment of it. If you are passionate about something, you should be able to reach your goals. My mentor has given me that advice and it has helped me throughout my internship – if you are always enjoying what you are doing, work will appear much easier.

Dream, Pursue, Achieve: Landing the Perfect Internship

By: Caroline Allan
Account Executive, Cardinal Health

I’ve had this dream since I was a kid that I wanted to live in North Carolina. Sure I vacationed to the Outer Banks once or twice and thought the beach would be cool. Other than that I had no real solid reason for wanting to move there. It was like this uncontrollable urge in me I couldn’t fight. Something was telling me that I belonged there. So, for as long as I can remember, it’s all I’ve ever wanted.

As any bright college student knows, the smartest way to test out your geographical cravings is to apply for internships in that area. Being the bright college student that I am, I looked all over North Carolina for an internship that sounded just right. And, as they always say, you come across what you’re looking for right when you stop looking for it.

Sitting in Journalism 270: Introduction to Public Relations, I found myself being stuffed with information on the best tactics used to implement the perfect PR plan. As I turned the page of my textbook, a colorful text box caught my eye. “Top 25 Independent Agencies in the United States”. I saw an agency listed in North Carolina. No kidding, I thought. The agency was named Capstrat and it was located in Raleigh.

I skipped my next class due to the excitement of my latest discovery. I rushed home, fired up my laptop and checked out Capstrat’s website. It was my first and only experience with love at first sight. Their writing was humorous and full of voice. There was no structure or limitations. Their work was creative and uplifting and most of all, it looked fun. That urge in me began to take hold yet again. I must have this internship. I found a contact and emailed her politely letting her know I was interested in a possible internship. Of course my fingertips wanted to type out “This is my calling! I want this internship! Hire me! Hire me!” The sanity in me deemed that slightly over the top so after the email was sent, I sat there satisfied with myself and calmly refreshed my inbox for the next several hours.

I woke up the next morning and naturally the first thing I did was check my email. And there it was, the holy grail of emails, a response from my beloved Capstrat. It was a simple response too, just a thank you for my interest and some further questioning on my background. This emailing went back and forth for a few months. Every time I checked my email and saw one from Capstrat, my smile would stretch clear across my face. They had told me not to apply for the summer intern position until February so for the following months, the nights before I went to bed consisted of me playing scenarios in my head. Where would I be when I found out I got the internship? Would I cry? Would I be out with friends and then have to shush them when I got the call, then hang up and shout “next round is on me! I’m going to Raleigh!” A different scenario played out in my head every night, but there was one scenario that became very real, a scenario I never did play out in my head… what if I didn’t get it?

It was finals week, winter quarter. I was bundled up at my dining room table making flash cards for Media Law 411. I had sent my resume, cover letter and clips to Capstrat over a month ago and was still checking my email 96 times a day. On refresh number 97, an email from Capstrat appeared in my inbox. The subject line: Internship Interest. Oh my God. This was it. The moment I’ve been waiting for since October. I closed my eyes, said a quick prayer, and clicked on it.

“Hi Caroline, thank you for your interest with Capstrat. Unfortunately–”

I stopped reading. No. No. No. This wasn’t happening. This was all a nightmare. I squeezed my eyes shut, the harder I squeeze the faster I’ll wake up. When I opened my eyes, I wasn’t waking up in my bed. I was still sitting at my dining room table, staring at the disappointing email with blurred vision from the tears that overwhelmed my eyes. My dreams shattered before me as I read the rest of the email.

After finals week, I found myself spending spring break in Arizona with family. Due to the lack of sleep I had from exams, I rolled out of bed around noon one day .The first thing I noticed was that my hair tie was oddly on my left wrist, for I always keep it on my right. Have you ever seen that part in the movie Tin Cup where he shifts everything from his one pocket to another and it shifts his whole mindset? That is me with my hair tie. Before I could even switch it to the other wrist, I noticed a green light flashing on my phone. I unlocked it to see who the missed call was from. As my fingers slid across my touch screen, my jaw hit the floor. “Missed Call: Capstrat 10:53 am” I walked out into the kitchen where the rest of my family had already showered and moved on to lunch. I ignored their stares as I stood in pajama pants and an oversized t-shirt when I blurted out, “I have a missed call from Capstrat.” My family just stared at me. “Well… call them back.” Ah, my mother, always so logical.

I locked myself in my aunt’s playroom and attempted to lessen my excessive heart rate. My fingers trembled as I hit the call button on my phone. Deep breaths. Don’t sound like an idiot. Don’t stutter. “Uhhh…uh, hi… hi, this is, um Caroline Allan.” Way to stutter AND sound like an idiot. The polite woman on the other end of the line seemed pleased to hear from me. She informed me that they in fact did have an extra spot for me and they were interested in having me work for them this summer. I attempted to muffle the sound of me gracefully falling out of my chair with a cough. I accepted the offer. No questions asked.

I walked out of the playroom with the best feeling I’ve ever felt in the whole world. Happy. Relieved. Accomplished. Anxious. Well, I guess with the best four feelings. I shared the great news with my family and spent the rest of that vacation the way vacation is meant to be spent, relaxed and at ease.

Fast forward two months of anxious waiting, and it was June 20, 2011. The big day. My father had typed out the nine-hour drive with fool-proof directions, directions I was sure to mess up. My gas tank was full and my heart was pounding as I chased my dreams all the way to Raleigh.

After moving in and getting settled at the house I was sub-leasing, it was finally my first day at Capstrat. I walked into the huge building, listening to the melody of my high heels click-clack along with the rhythm of my nervous heartbeat. I was given a tour of the entire office, most of which my head might as well have been on a swivel for. I couldn’t believe I was finally here. I was shown to my pod which came with a stuffed animal dog, a Styrofoam dart and a toy rocket. In fact, all of the interns had random toys in their pod. I couldn’t help but laugh.

The work days that followed consisted of doing research, editing releases, transcribing videos, you name it. That’s the best part of working here; you’re not treated like you’re some bottom of the food chain intern. You don’t have a boss breathing down your neck checking in on you every five minutes. Every day is different. The people here are kind and truly make you feel welcome. Whether it’s an exchange of brilliant ideas or an office erupting in laughter, this place is never quiet.

I suppose it was somewhat courageous of me to pick up and move to a city I didn’t know. But as my dad once told me, you just have to live each day and make your dreams come true. And as I sit here at the front desk of Capstrat, typing this very blog, I can’t help but smile when I look down at my left wrist. Because there is that very hair-tie, untouched, from the morning I woke up with it on my left wrist. The morning I was offered an internship with Capstrat. The morning that changed my whole mindset. The morning that got me where I am.

Why Internships Matter

By: Colleen Veeley
Account Supervisor, Cardinal Health and Up ‘Til Dawn accounts

This summer, I’m working as a public relations intern at Cardinal Health, a fortune 19 healthcare services company in Dublin, Ohio. Coming into the internship, I had little corporate public relations experience and zero healthcare exposure. I had the pre-internship jitters, but I feel at home already and am not ready for the summer to be over!

I’ve learned essential skills that simply cannot be taught in the classroom. I’ve observed how my manager responds to issues. She prepares herself when she knows a reporter might be calling to request a statement, analyzes all the possible questions and makes sure she is ready with the answers. I have been given a large responsibility to oversee issues, track media hits, and compile information, which is then sent to the top company executives.

I love that I am not in a “typical” intern role. I don’t get anyone coffee, copy papers, etc. I write press releases, pitch the releases, and compile coverage reports. I know that my work is meaningful and something that all public relations professionals do as part of their job description.

My favorite project this summer has been leading efforts for the Cardinal Health College Relations Facebook page. I’ve surveyed this summer’s intern class at Cardinal Health and held a focus group to try to improve the page in effective ways. I’m currently compiling a summary of the results so next steps can be established.

I’ve also learned so much about social media. Cardinal Health uses a system called CoTweet, which some of you have probably heard of. It allows Cardinal Health to see all company Twitter pages from one site, place specific people “On deck” so they will be notified when the company has been Tweeted, and plan out times and dates of future tweets. I’ve developed my skills as a leader by overseeing intern efforts of making a “Day in the life of an intern” video and several testimonial videos, which will be released on the college relations page shortly.

There are over 70 interns at the Dublin headquarters and I have met and know almost every single one of them. Every level of leaders within the company has expressed the program’s importance. All interns join a committee at the beginning of the summer. I am on the social committee and we have a social event once a week to get together outside of work. Some interns plan tours to Cardinal Health’s distribution centers, some connect with company executives and set up a speaker series where all interns are free to ask questions and advice.

It is essential to have an internship before entering the work place full time (scary!!). I would not trade this experience for anything and I recommend that every Scripps J School student go above the 200 hour internship requirement. It will help you eliminate what you don’t want to do and give you a good idea on a field where you know you could be happy and successful.

I hope everyone has an amazing summer and I can’t wait to get back to Athens! Go Bobcats!

New Executive Explores Florence, Italy

By: Brittany Venturella
Account Executive, ImPRessions account
Photo of the Ponte Vecchio taken by Deanna Sakal, a commercial photography major.

Walking down the streets of Florence, Italy, I was originally overwhelmed by the medieval architecture and the towering cathedrals.  Although Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence’s Duomo or main cathedral, is breathtaking, there is something even more unique and special that Florence houses:  the Italian people.

One night my friends and I ended the day by going to the Ponte Vecchio at sunset.  This historic bridge displays jewelry shops specializing in gold that have lined the bridge’s street since the Italian Renaissance. The jewelry shops are just one part of a long tradition of artisan shops that Florence hosts. From authentic leather to metal shops, you are able to meet the artists and possibly even watch them work. 

On the Ponte Vecchio, two guitarists were playing Italian and English songs; so my friends and I sat down to listen.  The mix of English and Italian music is a typical occurrence in Florence.  While the musicians performed songs like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” we quietly sang along.  Then as the musicians played upbeat Italian songs, the group of Italians sitting next to us clapped to the beat.  The jovial yet tranquil atmosphere that embraced us was quite different from the fast paced and somewhat chaotic daily life of modern day Florence.

The sun was barely lighting the Arno River as several tourists and Florentines walked past us.  The street lamps slowly came on, giving a yellow glow to the street’s gray cobblestone. Some Florentines leisurely rode their bikes, which is a common mode of transportation for them. The slight aggravation that would have been on their faces while riding through the sunny crowded streets was completely erased as they rode past the two performers.

Other Florentines walked swiftly past us, a destination clearly in mind.  Many women wore at least three inch heels with such mastery that I had to awe at their ability. These women fearlessly walked on the cobblestone, which is much more perilous than the bricks of Athens.  Everywhere the cobblestone contains sudden dips, cracks and other dangers.  Yet, they marched on as if they were on a catwalk.

By this time the sun had completely set, and the musicians continued to entertain the modest crowd.  As my favorite Italian song, “A Te” (“To You”) by Jovanotti, began to play, I looked out on Florence from the bridge.  I thought of the nice couples that told me directions when I got lost and “our” gelato shop where the man knows us by name and the square where the elderly gathered and with their pets. At that moment, Italy stole my heart.  It was not the art and cathedrals, but the people that impacted me.  With a simple song, modest lighting, and the soothing night that descended on the city, Florence became home.


Brittany is lucky enough to be spending her summer studying abroad in Florence, Italy and we would love to know what other awesome things our associates and executives are doing this summer! Feel free to leave a comment or send us a blog post so your amazing experiences can be shared with the firm and our followers!