Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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The Importance of Professional Personality

June 27, 2013 3 Comments

I find inspiration in shampoo.photo 1-1

First, let me talk about my favorite brand. Herbal Essences Body Envy. Not only does this shampoo come in a fantastically bright pink and orange bottle, but it also makes your hair smell good enough to eat. Seriously. However, it’s not the color or the scent that really make me go crazy about this specific product; it’s the tiny, white, often ignored words on the back of the bottle that really make this shampoo for me. And here’s why:

“Turn up the VOLUME! Take those stunning strands to higher ground by lathering up with this lightweight formula. Just as citrus is exhilarating, this formula gives your luscious locks body and bounce,” reads the introductory paragraph. Now I don’t know about you, but all those alliterations and accolades already have me excited to wash my hair. By taking on a BFF, girly-girl attitude, the marketers of Herbal Essences Body Envy have perfectly honed in on the specific personality of their audience. And, as a girl, I automatically relate to the message on the back of this bottle and trust that it’s true.

Now, like the message on the back of my Herbal Essences Body Envy, the type of messages conveyed by agencies and corporations on consumers can have just as an impactful effect. In my opinion the goal of PR should be to convey a message in the most friendly, relatable way possible. Otherwise, consumers will be turned off by circuitous attempts to persuade. Public relations should be charismatic and creative, applicable and alluring. Within this personal yet professional parallel, relationships are born and the unbreakable bond of faithful consumerism is formed.

A balance of personal and professional can also be beneficial to individuals within the realm of public relations. In many instances, personality is key to getting ahead in this competitive industry. Whether it be a splash of color on your resume or a distinctive voice in your writing, personality is what makes you stand out to employers, personality is what makes an agency stand out to prospective clients, and personality is ultimately what makes a brand stand out to consumers.

Who knew the message on the back of a shampoo bottle could provide so much PR insight? Nest time you shower, I’ll bet you’ll be reading the fine print. 

-Briagenn  Adams is a junior studying strategic communications with a minor in French. Check her out at @Briagenn.

A Day in the Life: PR Student

June 26, 2013

This is the final post of a three-part series detailing the daily life of a public relations professional, intern and student.

Kerry

Name: Kerry Tuttle

School: Ohio University

Location: Athens, OH

Hourly Snapshot

7 AM – Wake up, eat a protein bar for breakfast and head over to Ping to work out.

8:15 AM – Finished with my workout. Go home, take a shower and get dressed for class in business casual because of meetings and presentations. Have a last minute cram session before my first class because I have a quiz in it.

9:40 AM – First class of the day. Took the quiz and had a class discussion with a bunch of future journalists about how Twitter affects breaking news.

10:45 AM – On to the next class! I have a presentation that I’ve been practicing all night.

11:40 AM – Leave class and head to Baker to grab a bite to eat with friends. While at lunch, I’m scrolling through Twitter on my phone and checking out links to various PR blogs. Then, my Co-Account Executive for ImPRessions texts me and says that our client would like to have a quick meeting with us later in the day. I add that to my planner.

12:55 PM – My next class begins. It’s all lecture so I get busy taking notes.

1:50 PM – Class is over and I run to Café Bibliotech in Alden to grab a coffee since I’m starting to hit an afternoon lull.

2:00 PM – My PACE job begins. Today, I’m interviewing various faculty members in the Scripps College of Communication and putting together a spotlight piece for the website.

4:15 PM – Leave work and head over to Scripps Hall for a meeting with my ImPRessions client, Dr. Stewart, about an upcoming event my account is working on.

5:00 PM – Grab dinner up town with a friend. Charge my phone because it’s starting to die after excessive use all day.

6:00 PM – PRSSA meeting begins. Today, we have a speaker from a brand experience firm based in Columbus. During the meeting, I’m keeping up with my Twitter feed and adding the speaker on LinkedIn.

7:00 PM – I’m working on a huge research project with a group for one of my classes so I meet them in a group study room at Alden. We need to finalize our paper outline and begin putting our research into the form of a 20 page paper.

9:00 PM – After 2 hours of solid work, my group has had enough for the night. I find a spot on the second floor of Alden and finish some homework for some classes, which include reading two chapters in a book, creating a sample press release and submitting my marketing homework online.

10:00 PM – Meet with some other PR students to study for an exam we have in one our major classes the next day. We study half of the time and use the other half as social hour, of course.

11:30 PM – Leave Alden finally and head home. Sit on the couch with my roommates and veg out by watching some trashy reality television and eating my weight in chips and salsa.

1:00 AM – Get ready for bed, set my alarm for 7 AM and go over my notecards for my exam tomorrow before it’s lights out

-Kerry Tuttle is a junior majoring in public relations with specializations in marketing and international business. Keep up with Kerry at @kerrtut.

A Day in the Life: PR Intern

June 25, 2013 1 Comment

This is the second post of a three-part series detailing the daily life of a public relations professional, intern and student.

IMG_3186Name: Ashley Osborne

Company: The Original RICH Girls Inc., Brooklyn Bodega (Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival) and Marie Theodore (special events intern)

Location: New York City, NY

Hourly Snapshot

8 AM: Wake up. Eat breakfast. Do a quick workout. Shower.

9 AM: Do computer work which includes phone calls, emails, researching venues, contacts, organizations and companies for partnership/sponsorship, etc. Build media lists, create press releases for an event, or attend meetings with Seto McCoy for The ORG Inc.

3 PM: Finish up with The ORG Inc. Eat finally.

3:30 PM: Begin heading to Brooklyn Bodega or find out what needs updated in their lists for the festival and update those. Handle the Twitter account and build a social media calendar. Assist with other tasks on the marketing agenda. I will do this until the festival’s final day (7/13).

7 PM: Leave Brooklyn Bodega or finish up that work on the computer.

7:15pm: Arrive home. Attend an event for work (if this happens I don’t stay at Brooklyn Bodega as long or attend work for them during the day) or attend an inexpensive concert or event happening. If neither of those happens, I chill with friends for the evening.

It’s hard for me to be extremely detailed because no day is the same but I learn and research a whole lot. I’ve met lots of people, saw some awesome concerts, enriched other people’s connections as well as my own, began building a network of contacts and I really am getting a nice feel of NYC culture. I love living in Brooklyn. And I love that Soho is literally a stop away on the Q train!

What is an example of a curve ball you may face during the day as a PR intern?
A curve ball I may face during a day as a PR intern is conflict of hours (needing to be in places back to back) and being in an unfamiliar area without getting to know my surroundings. Make sure you leave with well enough time to find your way to the location you need to be at, if you didn’t have time to do so before hand.

Outside of a typical day at the office, what are some off-site duties you may have?
Many of my offsite duties include working evening events, running errands, visiting and spacing/walking through venues and attending meetings and seminars.

What has the transition been like from PR student to PR intern?
The transition from PR student to PR intern has been amazing! I only do and learn PR related things during the hours I’d normally have class and I continue doing things that interest me after working. It’s win-win living. I’m constantly doing things I enjoy, learning new skills and meeting new people.

What experiences from your internship do you think you will be able to apply to your studies and future career?
Everything I’m doing right now is teaching me the skills I need to someday soon become a great publicist. I have a lot more to learn about PR but this is one side of it I am blessed to experience. I’ve made irreplaceable connections with genuine people who want to see me succeed. I am learning the place I plan to make my next move in life. Next to Costa Rica, it’s been one of the best experiences of my life!

-Kerry Tuttle is a junior majoring in public relations with specializations in marketing and international business. Keep up with Kerry at @kerrtut.

 

A Day in the Life: PR Professional

June 24, 2013

This is the first of a three-part series detailing the daily life of a public relations professional, intern and student.

DevinName: Devin Hughes

Company: Global Prairie

Location: Cleveland, OH

Hourly Snapshot

7:30 AM – Wake up, shower, and check Facebook/Twitter/News RSS Feed while eating a granola bar for breakfast. This includes both personal interest stuff (friends’ Facebook posts, sports scores) as well as work stuff (industry news/tweets)

8:30 AM – Arrive at work. Whole bunch of emails to sift through. Better make the first cup of coffee (in our Keurig!)

9:00 AM – A new team member has joined our office! We have a welcome breakfast to meet him and chat.

9:45 AM – Every week, we send a weekly media monitoring report to the client on Friday morning. I haven’t started on it yet. Guess I should get moving on that.

10:00 AM – Better make that second cup of coffee.

10:30 AM – Call with a major national organization about a partnership our client has with them. What can we do to enhance the partnership? How can we promote it?

11:00 AM – Call went well. Now, I have to take everything we discussed and build a formal strategic recommendation for our client to review. Better get started on that while it’s fresh on my mind.

11:30 AM – Or not. Now I have a different call, for the same client, for a totally different project. This time, we’re even working with another agency (that does event planning) to discuss how to coordinate our efforts.

12:00 PM – No time to debrief from that call. Now, we have an all-agency call; all of our regional offices and employees dial in for this one, where we go over agency-wide matters of importance.

12:30 PM – Another meeting on the calendar? This is the 5th one and I haven’t had lunch! Now, we’re brainstorming about how to improve a mobile app for our client. Some awesome new ideas bouncing around — ranging from major changes, to simple functionality tweaks.

1:00 PM – All right, a break! Grabbed a few coworkers and ran to the local market for a salad.

1:30 PM – Let’s dig back in and work on that media repo—oh never mind. Boss needs me to do quick research for a new business opportunity that just came up.

2:00 PM – Finished that up, and just got some feedback on a social media proposal I put together. Sweet! Really excited about this project. Let’s prioritize it. Incorporated those edits and sent back through to the team.

2:30 PM – Grab a Pepsi and work on that report I keep putting off, but not for long because…

3:00 PM – A brainstorm meeting! About Twitter! We’re creating an account for a client and are discussing the look and feel of the account. Graphic design team is on this call, always fun to work with them.

3:30 PM – Another call, this time about work one of our clients does with NASCAR. That’s pretty cool.

4:00 PM – Let’s wrap up that report, already. The document has literally been open on my computer all day.

4:30 PM – Call with a senior strategist at our firm to run through a PPT I put together. He really likes the plan! Sending to the client now

5:00 PM – Oh hello, mountain of emails I haven’t had a chance to reply to. Let’s catch up on those

5:30 PM – A few of us are actually going to a fundraising event for the National Kidney Foundation tonight. Pretty cool to do after-hours stuff with coworkers while also giving back.

8:00 PM – Home! Long day…let’s sit back and watch the Indians game (while tweeting of course)

11:00 PM – Bedtime. Can’t stay up late like I did in my OU days.

What is an example of a curve ball you may face during the day as a PR professional?
You can plan out your day all you want, but PR is driven by the news of the day, so be ready to get disrupted. For example, when I did PR for a grocery chain, anytime the news wanted to spontaneously come film at the store I’d have to drive out and meet them. One phone call from ABC was all it’d take to literally change the entire complexion of my day.

Do you find that you specialize in a certain area of PR or are your responsibilities more general?
Can I say “both?” I got into the agency world because I wanted to wear a lot of different hats and learn about any aspect of PR that I could. That said, I naturally gravitate toward social media and really enjoy doing that type of work, and my company has noticed that, so they’ve begun viewing me as more of a go-to person on social media matters. But, that doesn’t mean I’m not still doing all the other stuff! Best advice I can give is to be open to learning anything and everything, but also become conscious of what you really enjoy doing, and have dialogues with your manager about what those things are.

How many clients do you work with and what is it like transitioning between the different clients throughout the day?
It’s hard to quantify. There aren’t just different clients, but there’s different businesses within clients. So like, maybe your “client” is Toyota but you do some work for the marketing manager of the Toyota Camry; some for the Tundra marketing person; some corporate communications work; some general crisis consulting. It’s one “client,” but they have multiple billing codes and you report to different people.I actually really like transitioning between a bunch of different clients/types of work. Maybe I’m scatterbrained, but it helps keep me feeling fresh and energized. I think I’d go insane doing the same thing every day. The biggest challenge is juggling various client deadlines. I can’t tell one client that her work is less important to me than another client’s work. Luckily, our agency team is extremely supportive and when time crunches like this come up, anyone who can will jump in and help out.

What experiences from your days as a PR student and intern have helped you in your work as a professional?
I’ve said before that in a lot of ways, school is like its own PR agency. Your “clients” are your 5 classes, your 3 student organizations, your PACE job, etc. And you need to manage your time on all of these clients, prioritize assignments and get things done, while still having a social life. The running joke is that Scripps Kids tend to overextend themselves and sign up for everything; however, this actually prepares you really well for the demands of agency PR, if that’s a field you’re interested in.

-Kerry Tuttle is a junior majoring in public relations with specializations in marketing and international business. Keep up with Kerry at @kerrtut.

Making Army ImPRessions

June 20, 2013

Photo by Michael Noble Jr.

Photo by Michael Noble Jr.

Have you ever felt you were being thrown into the big leagues? Try being a media relations intern for an ROTC camp at one of the most renowned U.S. military bases in the world. Fort Knox, Kentucky is rumored to house our country’s gold and although I haven’t seen any gold, I have seen plenty of camouflage.

Applying for this internship I was confident of my portfolio, due to the pieces I gained from being an account associate for the ImPRessions Army and Air Force ROTC account. I had background with event coverage, the chain of command and LOTS of press releases. The opportunity to be a media relations intern for the ROTC’s Leader’s Training Course seemed like a perfect fit. I sent in my cover letter, resume and portfolio and then I waited.

After close to a month and a half of waiting, I got an email. I jumped out of my chair when I read that I had received the internship. Not figuratively jumped either, I literally knocked my desk chair over. I called my contact the next day within the allotted time, to verify my acceptance. When discussing the details, the public affairs officer whom I spoke to asked me how a freshman in college was able to put together such an extensive portfolio. My answer was simple; ImPRessions, the Ohio University student-run public relations firm. He sounded impressed, a very good sign considering I was dealing with the United States Army and I was just a freshman in Athens.

I’ve been in Fort Knox for close to two weeks now and thank ImPRessions every time I’m given a new assignment. My experience with the Army and Air Force ROTC account could not have prepared me better; my experience translated over perfectly. However, there are a few necessary things I’ve learned about taking on a big internship in my first weeks here.

Lesson 1: Make Friends. Friends are good to have no matter where you are, but when you’re working and living with 15 other interns for the majority of the summer, they’re essential. The last thing you need is drama from the hotel or wherever you’re staying carrying into the workplace. Getting along with everyone may be difficult, but it is totally worth the extra effort.

Lesson 2: Be Respectful, Not Intimidated. Coming onto a military base I knew that being respectful was going to be a huge part of the job. No matter whom you are dealing with, whether it’s another intern or a Major General, respect goes a long way. Just because you are respectful though, doesn’t mean you should be intimidated. No matter what the rank of the person you working with, it is your job to be there; act like it. Chances are they will respect you more and be more helpful if they realize you are serious about what you do.

Lesson 3: Do Not Let Anyone Underestimate You. Being a freshman, I am one of the youngest interns here. Most are going into their senior year of college or just graduated and many of them act like I am the baby intern. Although I may only be 18 years old (19 in three days), I have experience and I know what I’m doing. Letting them underestimate you will only make you believe what they’re saying. Take charge and prove your skills. Nothing feels better than having your boss ask you specifically for help on a job and nothing looks better than everyone else’s jaws dropping when you do well on an assignment.

Every internship experience is different: from the application process all the way through to the last day. I was lucky to have such extensive experience beforehand, but I still have a lot to learn. The best advice I can give to anyone starting an internship is “you get out of it what you put into it,” no matter how experienced your resume is before it will not benefit you unless you work hard and do your best. I’m looking forward to what the next two months hold for me.

-Rebecca Zook is a sophomore.

Moving Mountains: Making Interning Abroad a Reality

June 18, 2013 1 Comment

IMG_0490I’ve always been the type of person with a plan, and when I mapped out everything freshman year,  I put interning abroad on my list the summer after sophomore year. Yes, I actually picked a summer and had an idea of where I wanted to go. At first I thought London because I’ve always wanted to go and there are numerous PR agencies. However, London was crossed off when I looked at the price and then I thought, ‘Dublin is nearby and they speak English; perfect!’

Here I am in Dublin for the summer interning for Deputy Michael Healy-Rae, a member of the 31st Dáil. According to my mother, mountains were moved for me to have this experience and I couldn’t be more grateful. For all of you aspiring to intern abroad, here are the mountains you will need to move in order to make your internship abroad a reality:

Mountain 1: Solo or Program? I chose to go with the IEP/CIS Abroad program, which I am a little bit dissatisfied with at the moment, but don’t let that deter you. It is not unheard of or impossible to find your internship abroad alone. It might even be the best option for you, as it is less costly and it’ll show you are determined to make it happen. I have met other interns who are using similar programs and are in large groups, but I chose to do the independent program within my program. There are a million options but only one is right for you. Think of choosing the option like you would a pair of shoes that would be glued to your feet for the entire summer.

Mountain 2: Landing the internship. Like any internship search, this can be the difficult part. Update your resume, fit it to the companies or agencies you are applying to and just grin and bear it as you wait. I was offered a spot at an agency first, but it didn’t fit me. If you are the least bit hesitant, it’s not worth it. It’s not worth the money you are spending or your time if it doesn’t feel like a match. I was worried because my program said, “now since you turned down your first option, placement isn’t guaranteed.” I am very lucky that I was able to get an internship in Parliament, let alone with my boss who has allowed me responsibilities not many interns are given. I have wrote press releases three weeks in and I’m advising my boss on how to increase media recognition. It may seem daunting because I’m only a junior in college and I don’t have years upon years of experience, but an internship is supposed to be a learning opportunity, not getting your boss coffee; remember that.

Mountain 3: How am I going to pay for this? Being such a planner I thought I had this all sorted. I was going to get a private student loan so my parents didn’t have to bother and it was all going to be said and done, no worries. I shouldn’t ever deal with money; that’s what I’ve learned from this process. If you go with a program things are due in advance and if you don’t pay them, too bad no internship for you. Look at all the financial options and ask tons of questions; no question is a dumb question in the world of money, loans, etc. Do your research and look at every due date in your program (if you use one) and all due dates for wherever you are living. When it comes to money, some places don’t care about your situation, they just want to be paid.

Mountain 4: Getting there. You’ve landed your internship and all you have to do is book your flight. Remember to register with the state department, so they know where you are. Call your credit card company because your card can be rejected if you don’t tell them you are going to a foreign country and try to use it. Make sure your passport is up-to-date and current; if you need one get it way in advance, same for renewals. Pack your bags and you are ready to go! Remember, this will be scary and you may freak out but take a deep breath because you are about to have the adventure of a lifetime.

When it comes to making all of this a reality I really advise asking questions. Whoever has interned abroad will more than likely be happy to talk about it and give you advice. I may not be very satisfied with my specific program, but I love my internship and the amazing people I have met. This truly is an experience you will never regret or forget; I can guarantee it. There’s one last thing I want you to remember when doing this: it may be expensive, scary, nerve-racking, headache-inducing and seemingly impossible, but it’s not. If you are determined and really put your mind to it and try, you can make your dream to intern abroad a reality. You have four years in college; spend them wisely.    

-Kelly Hayes is a junior strategic communications major with a specialization in German and a Global Leadership Certificate. Follow her time in Ireland at @kmshayes.

5 Tips for Your First Day

June 17, 2013 1 Comment

MovieThe first day of anything new is always scary and nerve-racking, whether it’s the first day of school, a new job or an internship. You don’t know what to expect and are thrown into a new place where everyone knows everyone; except you. On top of it all, you’re nervous about living up to everyone’s expectations.

I started my internship at Imerman Angels exactly two weeks ago. Imerman Angels is a not-for-profit organization that provides one-on-one support to cancer fighters, caregivers and survivors. I had spent the previous two months learning all about the organization, but when my first day finally arrived, my research was unnecessary. Here’s what to expect.

Nerves. Nerves are expected, but there are many ways that you can keep them to a minimum. Know where you need to go, what time you need to be there and leave enough time for travel whether you’re driving, walking or using public transportation. Also, leave enough time to collect yourself before you go in so that you aren’t a nervous wreck for your first impression.

Bring your planner. Depending on the company or organization you might plan out your schedule before your first day, but if not make sure to bring a planner. You may not work Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. so have an idea of what days or times work best for you. This is also a good time to bring up any dates that you cannot work.

Tours and Introductions. Most of your first day will be spent getting acquainted with the office and everyone who works there. Your supervisor will show you where you’ll be working and introduce you to everyone you’ll be working with. This is a good time to ask any questions you may have about the dress code, the office or what to expect on a typical day.

Dress Appropriately. You don’t want to be underdressed but it can also be just as uncomfortable to be overdressed. I recommend business casual, but it can also depend on where you will be working. If you are a girl and are unsure about what shoes to wear, bring flats and stick a pair of heels in your bag and wait to see what other women are wearing. Also, make sure to also dress appropriately for the weather; it may be hot outside but inside they might have the air conditioner blasting so bringing a sweater or jacket might be a good idea.

Snacks and Drinks. For my first day I didn’t know how long I would be there; I could have been only doing introductions and figuring out my schedule or possibly working a full day.  If you are unaware of how long you will be there, make sure to bring something to drink and a quick snack in case you happen to be there longer than expected.

First days can be scary, but remember there’s only one first day! Once you know what to expect and what is expected of you, the next days, weeks and months will continue to get easier.

-Allison Rumsas is a junior strategic communications major with a Spanish minor. Follow her  at @allisonrumsas.

Selling Yourself: Pitching Yourself Instead of a Product

June 16, 2013 1 Comment

otterhugIn any number of my journalism classes I’ve learned how to write press releases, media pitches, package audio and video and just about everything needed to sell an idea. What my classes didn’t quite prepare me for was how to sell myself. During the interview process for my current internship at a waste and recycling company, I was asked to prepare a five-minute presentation about what I could add to their communications team.

My first thought was, “how do I do this without bragging?” However, I quickly realized bragging was exactly what I needed to do. Just like with any other pitch, if you don’t believe in the concept, why should anyone else?

Rather than providing a broad summary of my previous experience, which they could easily see from my resume, I chose to focus on spotlighting individual successes. On the ImPRessions networking trip to New York City earlier this year, we all learned that it is often more important to give people a reason to listen to you instead of just yelling and hoping to be heard.

I did my research on the company, and tailored my presentation to speak to their needs. On the company blog there were a handful of personal pieces about company employees. Working for a client with ImPRessions, spotlight pieces were a regular occurrence for me. I chose to focus on this and included screenshots of some of my most popular posts.

Before ending my presentation, I added an element that was inherently my own. A number of my close friends know that one of my main interests is otters, the furry sea creature. I included a short anecdote about how I created a post on Buzzfeed regarding my love for otters and it managed to get a large response on social media. The topic was a little off key but the reaction was impressive, and it definitely gave them something to remember.

Pitching yourself for a job isn’t so different than pitching a story for a client, when you boil it all down. The same strategies apply and as long as you believe in what you’re selling, it’s likely your audience will follow.

-Darby Fledderjohn is a senior strategic communications major with specializations in business and sociology.

Adjusting to the Windy City

June 12, 2013 1 Comment

ChicagoI have always pictured my life out of college in a big city with a modern apartment and glamorous job. After work I could grab dinner with my fellow colleagues at a swanky restaurant and on the weekends I would have endless streets to explore and shop. Chicago has always been my city of choice. When I decided to start looking for internships for this summer, Chicago was my first option. Luckily, and to my surprise, I was able to get connected with a non-profit organization and land a social media internship.

Once the excitement of my new summer plans faded, the reality of living in a new city began to sink in. How would I know where to go? How would I get around? What would I do in my spare time? I grew up in a suburb of Detroit that was about 15 minutes from Ann Arbor and was not used to having to walk places, let alone use public transportation. As my moving date to the city grew closer, I became more anxious and nervous about how I would adjust to living in a new city alone.

I made arrangements to live with my grandparents, who live in a suburb about 20 minutes from downtown Chicago when there isn’t any traffic. However, driving in and out of the city during rush hour could potentially take hours, so I decided public transportation would be the best option. My sister has lived in the city for the past seven years and made me a schedule of trains I could take and a map from the station to my building. After practicing the route before my first day and eventually commuting multiple times by train, I am more confident in getting around the area where I work.

I have now officially completed a full week of my internship and am still learning my way around downtown Chicago. I now know the difference between the Metra and CTA, I can hail my own cab and have mastered speed walking.

Getting adjusted to a new city can be intimidating at first, especially when moving from a suburb to a big city. Here are a few tips that can help when getting adjusted into a new city.

Plan ahead. This can apply to everything, whether it is practicing your transportation paths days before you start or even just getting to train or bus stops before they are scheduled to arrive.

Explore. Spend time just walking up and down new streets and going into stores or restaurants. The more familiar you are with an area the more comfortable and at home you will feel. This also helps to meet new people and learn of new places to go.

Social media. As PR stars we are used to depending on social media to post about what we are doing and getting responses, but in this case follow Twitter accounts where you’ll learn about events going on in the city. It’s easy to do the “touristy” things, but to really embrace the city culture, find out what people who live in the city are doing.

-Allison Rumsas is a junior strategic communications major with a Spanish minor. Follow her adventures through the Windy City at @allisonrumsas.

Happiest 5k Takes on Social Media

June 10, 2013

Color RunMost of us have heard of The Happiest 5k on the Planet, known best as The Color Run. For those that haven’t, this is a run that has taken the world by storm with races in Australia, Brazil, Chile, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom and all over the United States. Participants wear all white and are doused with 5 different colors as they pass each kilometer. The race has grown immensely from its start in 2012 and will have more than a million participants in 100 events in 2013.

One of The Color Run’s greatest strengths has been its use of social media to spread its message of healthiness, happiness, individuality and giving back to the community. When and where did you first see the pictures of people jumping in the air throwing paint powder?

Twitter

Leading the forefront of today’s social media, Twitter is a unique space for event-related content. It allows those not present to follow the event in real time and keep the atmosphere and impact of the race going far after it is over.

@TheColorRun has 46,497 followers currently for its U.S. account and uses separate accounts for each country. They receive great interaction utilizing #ColorRunner and #Happiest5k as well as responding to a great number of the people that tweet at them. One of the best parts of The Color Run is the phenomenal pictures taken there. Tweets with multimedia have been shown to increase engagement dramatically. These intensely interactive pictures lend themselves well to other forms of social media that not all companies have been able to effectively utilize.

Instagram

Instagram is all about sharing a visual experience that people can relate to; the perfect site for blasts of color and promoting health and happiness.

TheColorRun has 20,000 followers on Instagram. They not only share pictures that imply the run will be the best time of your life, but use the photos to spread engagement to their other social media platforms such as YouTube.  Even though they use different outlets, The Color Run does a great job of creating one cohesive brand image throughout their messaging. For example, they continue to use the hash tags #happiest5k and #colorrunner, making it easy for followers to connect on both Instagram and Twitter. The group also shares pictures of their sponsors’ stands in order to pull from their sponsors’ customer base.

Vine

One of the newest players in social media is the short video sharing application called Vine, and The Color Run is already taking advantage of this platform. Their first vine was on June 2, 2013 and they already have 1,938 followers and 244 likes for their first post.

To find out more about The Color Run and potential races in your area visit http://thecolorrun.com/

-Ann Watercutter is a junior studying strategic communications with a minor in business and a marketing specialization. Keep up with Ann at @AWatercutter.

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