Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Internship Less…

August 20, 2012

Internship Lessons: Efficiency, Networking, Timeliness

By Heather Wilson

 

Scheduling my life to the max is how I live. Staying busy is something that comes naturally to me. So taking six online classes this summer through Ohio University and working a full-time internship was of course nothing out of the ordinary for me. This summer I accepted a communications and marketing internship working for Alpha Gamma Delta International Fraternity (which is basically a sorority) in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was a unique experience for me, as I am not a member of any sorority. I was able to learn a lot about the Greek community and develop a lot of respect for the organization.   

 

From the moment I was given work to do on June 11, I was always in my boss’ or co-worker’s office asking for more work. At times I felt as though I was bothering them because I was always in need of more work. I think that my employer was impressed by the efficiency and accuracy of my work, and she didn’t anticipate an intern working so quickly on projects. I credit this to my knowledge of Adobe software such as Photoshop and InDesign from high school and my time at Ohio University. If you are an ImPRessions member and don’t have much knowledge of the programs, I encourage you to take a few classes or watch tutorials online. This software is critical in most communications industries.     

 

During my internship, I worked closely with my fellow co-workers on projects and materials for the bi-annual convention for the Fraternity. My co-worker, Kailee, and I worked on brochures, flyers, website updates, magazine articles, and various other projects. There was not a single thing that I did during my internship that I did not consult with her on. The organization has a very team-oriented atmosphere and everyone bounces ideas off one another to try to make the project the best that it can be.

 

I am a very outgoing person, but I will admit that when I first started my job I did not make good use of my networking skills. I took a half hour lunch and ate in the lunchroom by myself instead of the usual hour-long lunch like most employees, because I wanted the flexibility of leaving early on Fridays because I had all of my hours in for the week. It wasn’t until my last few weeks at the internship in August that I started being invited to go out to lunch with the other women at work. I got over the fact that I had to stay until the end of the day Friday, and I really enjoyed getting to know my fellow co-workers. In those last few weeks, I realized that it would have been a much more enjoyable internship if I had gotten to know the women earlier rather than later.

 

Kailee and I developed a great sense of teamwork while I was at my internship. She was always very honest with me and let me have the freedom to be creative while still giving me her advice. At my internship wrap-up meeting, Kailee gave lots of career advice and said that she would be more than willing to write me a recommendation in the future if I ever needed it.

 

These are the types of relationships that all of us as ImPRessions associates and executives should be developing in our professional atmospheres. In today’s business world, while it is essential to have the skills and degree for the job, it’s also critical to have connections to be able to obtain the job you desire.   

 

The benefits of knowing your fellow co-workers are endless. It allowed me to develop friends in a new city, I learned new things about the organization through them and what projects they were working on, and I even received career advice from them since a lot of them are recent college graduates. 

 

My advice? Stay busy, work efficiently, and get to know co-workers! It will pay off in the end!

 

If you are interested in learning more about the Fraternity, visit http://www.alphagammadelta.org

 

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Using Stats to Prove PR Effectiveness

August 3, 2012

By: Kristin Yerecic

As great communicators, we often like to ignore the less appealing subjects to us such as math and numbers. But, it is becoming more apparent that statistics are a crucial part to landing and keeping jobs in the PR world. With the economic downturn, budgets are being cut and public relations funding is one of the first to be thrown out the window. The best remedy to this problem? Embrace those nasty numbers to prove to managers and bosses alike that PR is worth the money for the return it brings.

One of the most valuable lessons I learned this year as an Account Executive in ImPRessions is to rely on statistics to prove the value of PR. College Book Store’s manager, Andrew Stout, taught me that to justify spending money on public relations to managers, shareholders and various other decision makers, you need to show profits and benefits in other areas. After every promotional weekend or event, we would have a meeting discussing the positive outcomes using straight hard facts, not just our feelings about it.

 
   

Pre-Event
To collect the most effective data, you need to know what you are trying to measure before the event occurs.  For example, during Mom’s weekend the College Book Store account took advantage of using the Mom’s market to pass out flyers to drive students and their moms to the store. On the flyer, we specified that if you brought the flyer to the store you would receive a free Ohio University Mom pin.

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This gave us a way to determine the flyer usage ratio at the end and how it affected the Mom’s Weekend tee shirt sales.

Also, it is important to keep a document (preferably Excel) with all the cost information, allowing you to calculate cost effectiveness at the end. 

During the Event
During the event is the most crucial time to take data or even get feedback from attendees. During the Mom’s market event, every flyer distributed was accounted for so we knew the exact numbers to use for future calculations. Also, employees at College Book Store collected and saved any flyers returned to get an effective return statistic.

Post-Event
In the world of business, owners are looking for straight hard facts. It was now ImPRessions’ responsibility to prove to Andrew Stout and other College Book Store management that the investment they had made in the free pins helped drive sales to the store.

By using the data we collected, we were able to determine that 151 out of the 500 flyers distributed were returned to the store which gives a 30.2% response rate.  Also, we proved the effectiveness of the flyers by showing that tee shirt sales improved 54% from the previous year.

Resume Builder

Lastly, a key item that every student is looking for: RESUME ADDITIONS. Use these facts and statistics on your resume to show employers that you have the ability to evaluate. This is one of the key attributes that employers look for in communications positions.

So stop ignoring numbers, use them to your advantage! The sooner you embrace statistics, the faster people will start to recognize the importance and affect your public relations work can have.

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