Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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How to Fluff Up Your Valentine’s Day

February 12, 2015

By: Danielle McCarthy, @DanielleN_McC

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Valentine’s Day is upon us once again, and whether you are happily single or happily committed this heart-filled day, this day comes with certain expectations.

Maybe you are expected to have a romantic candlelit dinner with lots of eye contact, or go out with your significant other on Court Street, or maybe the expectation is to stay in with a box of Chinese food and a chick flick, sulking about the lack of love in your life.

It might be time to consider changing those plans, and hitting up The Fluff on Court Street. This is a great place to go with your significant other for a casual and inexpensive dinner, or to go with your friends and just enjoy the atmosphere.

The Fluff is committed to creating a casual and laid-back place to come and enjoy some sweet treats on Valentine’s Day. They will have a few tables available for reservation both Friday and Saturday night, otherwise they welcome walk-ins.

The specials range from red velvet cupcakes, to heart-shaped sugar cookies, to chocolate truffles. They will also still be serving their tradition Thai-infused foods, like curry and shrimp tacos.

Take your Valentine, whether it be your significant other, best friend, or a random off the street, and spend some time getting to know each other and The Fluff. Also, get a red velvet whoopie pie. It will change your life, I promise.

Fifty Shades of Hyped

February 11, 2015

By: Cameron Quinn

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I remember seeing “Fifty Shades of Grey” everywhere around my high school. My very opinionated senior-year journalism teacher expressed her thoughts on how ridiculous a book, which is practically an erotic novel, was. I told myself I would never succumb to the trend of reading such an explicit book.

This was two years ago, and here we are, with a countdown to the movie premiere. Unfortunately, I am also guilty of waiting in anticipation. After hearing snippets of the soundtrack (who doesn’t enjoy Beyoncé’s voice) and seeing my social media boom with sneak peaks and crazy girls talking about the one and only Christian Grey, I finally gave in. I was curious how something could bring so much hype for such an extended period of time. After reading the book, I am more than excited to see the premiere and drag my date along with me on Valentines Day.

I have to admit, reading something so explicit made me very uncomfortable at times. I realized it’s just one of those books you have to keep reading. After experiencing how successful it was, I’m fully looking forward to see this movie.

As if I wasn’t interested enough, I’ve found myself getting caught in the media trap of short sneak peaks with trailers and sitcoms on TV. One that stood out to me was a two-minute ad that Trojan made. It was a comical reenactment of “Fifty Shades of Grey” from the eyes of a reader. The star is your average woman looking for her Christian Grey in her own relationship. If you haven’t seen it yet, I’d highly suggest searching on YouTube “Trojan – 50 Shades of Pleasure”.

The media push trends onto society so much that it is difficult not to give in to the trends. The target audience, however, is no different than the audience for a Nicholas Sparks book. Females love reading about love, but who knew so many would love reading about love making. For all of my friends it was the same story—their mom read it and then they read it. The book targeted just about every woman there is, and I am sure the movie will bring in an endless crowd. Fingers crossed that it reaches all of the expectations the talented E L James has created for us hopeless, romantic women.

PR Skills Make Everything Easier, Even Sorority Recruitment

February 10, 2015

By: Corina Rolko, @CRolko

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Working long hours and balancing multiple projects at the same time are just two of the obstacles one will face as a professional in the public relations industry.  In fact, any student who is studying public relations, and staying involved in related organizations on campus, can already attest to that.  Although it can be overwhelming at times, the skills and lessons you learn as a PR student or professional will benefit you outside of a professional or academic setting.

Anyone who has participated in the sorority recruitment process, on either side, knows how overwhelming it can be.  The days are long and the heels on your feet are far from comfortable. However, as a junior studying public relations and advertising at Ohio University, the professional skills I gained have enhanced my life on a daily basis, but especially during sorority recruitment season.

Here are just a few examples of PR lessons or skills I’ve learned, which have gotten me through two years of formal recruitment with a smile on my face.

Time and task management skills.  At Ohio University, formal recruitment takes place within six short days. During these six days, recruitment starts early in the day and ends late. As a result of learning how to balance multiple clients and prioritize different tasks, I have learned to prepared to stay on top of school work, and still manage to get a good night’s rest during recruitment.

Communication skills.  Communication skills are necessary to be successful in most professions, but it’s central in the public relations industry.  PR professionals are constantly communicating with clients and their colleagues.  Therefore, holding a comfortable conversation with a stranger during recruitment is a simple task.

Working with others.  Cooperativeness is a personality trait found within many PR experts because in this profession you are typically expected to work both individually and on a team.  When striving to do the best work, or recruit the best new members, both require the ability to work with others toward a common goal.

Living a fast paced life style.  As a public relations student or professional, one has many responsibilities each day. In addition, you are expected to be able to stay on top of a workload that is constantly changing.  As a result, PR professionals live a go, go, go lifestyle, which makes the fast-paced, chaotic days of sorority recruitment a little easier to handle.

Expanding the Options of Campus Involvement

February 9, 2015

By: Allison Zullo, @allisonzullo

As students of the various majors in the Scripps School of Communication, we have been told, repeatedly, to get involved in student media and other organizations related to our field of study. As students interested in public relations, we were told that joining Scripps PRSSA and ImPRessions was crucial to the success of our future careers. We would learn essential skills, expand our networks and prepare ourselves for the professional PR world.

While its great to be so involved in strictly PR organizations, it is also important to branch out on campus. Joining different clubs can be a great way to meet people that aren’t majoring in strategic communication or journalism. It’s also a great way to learn new content and gain leadership experience, even if you are serving as a PR or marketing chair.

Getting more involved on campus may seem intimidating (and impossible, depending on your schedule), but here are just a few of the endless ways you can make it happen.

Professional Organizations

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Scripps PRSSA is a professional PR organization, but there are many other clubs on campus that help students develop professional skills, while building camaraderie among members and having some fun. If you’re getting a minor through the business school, you can join a business fraternity to meet other business students, polish your skills and expand your network. If you have a high GPA, consider joining an honors fraternity, where you can gain leadership skills while meeting people from different schools on campus. Finally, a small (shameless) plug for an organization I’m involved with, Student Alumni Board. It’s a professional organization that focuses on connecting current students with the Alumni Association and other OU alumni. All of these clubs are great ways to get even more involved on campus, while meeting new (non-PR) people, and building your network and skill set in preparation for the professional world.

Greek Life

Greek Life can be a great way to get more involved on campus and meet new people. Not only do you have a chance to befriend men and women from all different areas and majors, but you also have the chance to gain valuable experience by becoming a leader in your chapter. Nearly every sorority and fraternity has a vice president of PR, marketing, and/or event planning, which is a great way for PR majors to gain hands-on experience in their future career field. Each Greek organization even has a specified philanthropy event, which also allows you to get involved in the community as well as the campus. Plus, you immediately have a network of alumni across the country, and the world, which is pretty cool.

Non-Profit/Community Service Organizations

OU’s campus believes in service, giving back, and involvement in the community, so in turn, there are many organizations that focus on these values. The Make a Wish Foundation, OU End Slavery Movement, Relay for Life, and BobcaThon, are all organizations and events that focus on raising awareness and money for a particular cause. There are countless that aren’t even listed. In addition, service fraternities, such as Alpha Phi Omega, focus on performing community service, while also building leadership skills and fostering relationships. These types of organizations are for meeting people who are interested in, and passionate about, the same causes as you, or if you’re interested in pursuing a career in non-profit PR.

These are just a few examples of the many student organizations on Ohio University’s campus in which you can get involved. From professional organizations, to student government, to religious organizations, and so much more, there is a club for you, no matter what your passions and interests are.

Don’t be afraid to branch out and join a non-PR organization. You’ll end up meeting cool people, learn new skills, and fight for causes that you’re extremely passionate about. Isn’t that what college is about?

Best Cities for PR Professionals

February 5, 2015

By: Autumn Cooper, @autumncooper5

When it comes to world of PR, deciding where to start your career could have a huge impact on your future happiness, success, and salary in the industry. PR is such an exciting field and it could take you anywhere in the world. I love to travel so for someone like me, I love knowing that the field I chose could help me live out another passion of mine.

During the past couple of months, I have spent many hours online searching for an internship. With a willingness to relocate to anywhere the job requires, I noticed it was very difficult to decide what city to begin applying to internships in. I realized that if I’m having this much trouble with just finding a summer internships, then I can only imagine the difficulties a graduating seniors must be facing.

One thing you’ll learn is that you don’t have to be in the U.S. to take advantage of a great PR job. Whether you’re working for a firm, business, or a non-profit, PR can take you anywhere in the world. In my opinion, everyone should experience living in a different city at least once. PR is ever changing, just like the rest of the world; go experience it.

So here are some of the top cities around the world for PR professionals to take their career (in no particular order).

1. New York, New York

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New York is an obvious choice because it is highly concentrated with PR jobs. New York will give you a chance to work with some of the best in the field, and work for some of the top agencies in the world. If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere!

2. Washington, D.C.

Being the U.S. capital, there is also a huge concentration of jobs in D.C., especially political PR jobs. Not only is there a large amount of jobs, but they also pay well. The average salary in D.C. is almost double the nation’s average salary.

3. Seattle, Washington

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Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., and is absolutely beautiful. The PRSA chapter that started in Seattle is one of the 10 largest chapters in the country. Edelman, the world’s largest PR firm, has an office in Seattle, Washington.

4. Chicago, Illinois 

Chicago has a large amount of political, healthcare, and financial PR jobs. Whatever your interests are, Chicago most likely will have a job for you! Chicago is a great choice so you can still get the large city feel, but it can still feel like home, since it’s not as large as NYC.

5. London

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London has some of the world’s largest and best agencies (Ogilvy, Edelmen, and Weber Shandwick). International PR is becoming huge, and London is a great city to experience it in. I know after studying abroad in London this past summer that it is an amazing city to visit and live in. Definitely on the top of my list to live in after college!

6. Toronto, Ontario

Toronto has a number of opportunities, especially in public relations. Toronto has one of best strategic communications firms in the world, Fleishman-Hillard. Toronto isn’t just known for its job opportunities, but also its quality of life.

7. Boston, Massachusetts

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Boston has been ranked one of the top metropolitan areas for “PR Specialists.” This city will be a great city for PR professionals, no matter what stage of your career you’re in. It also thrives in culture, nightlife, and social interactions.

8. Sofia, Bulgaria

I love learning about PR opportunities internationally. There is an increasingly number of opportunities in PR that are happening outside of the United States. Sofia is home to M3 Communications Group, which won top PR Agency in Europe. I say you should book your flight and give it a try!

9. San Francisco/Los Angeles, California 

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Cities in California are known for their high pay. California gives you a wide variety of options for the type of PR job you could get. Whether you want a publicity job or work in healthcare, California has it!

10. Salt Lake City, Utah 

There is always something to do in Salt Lake City, with a variety of attractions like art galleries, professional sports, and festivals. These types of attractions will make your quality of life as a PR professional even better. To make things even better, Salt Lake City also has a large amount of PR/communication firms, non-profits, and corporations.

Why It’s Important for PR Professionals to Have Confidence

February 4, 2015

By: Jennica Lurie, @jennicalurie

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People have been telling us that “confidence is key,” since we were kids. As cliché as this phrase may be, it can be applied to every aspect of our lives, whether it is for social or professional purposes. Once we hit middle school, we realized that being socially confident was the only way we were going to survive. And now, here we are, making our way into the professional world, as we continue to be told, “confidence is key,” but don’t just write it off.

The Application Process

As public relations professionals, in order to be successful, we must have confidence in our abilities and ourselves. While applying for the jobs and internships of our dreams over the next couple months, it is vital to think back on our past successes and failures, and what we learned from them. These should be used to inspire us to continue putting all of our effort into our dream job, rather than letting our past mistakes scare us away from a new experience.  Be sure to remember just how much you’ve learned while you are updating your resume and how lucky that company would be to have someone as passionate as you working for them.

On the Job

You got your dream internship, congrats! But now, you’ve been given an assignment that you feel is utterly impossible for you to complete. There is no better time to look back at your past work than right at that moment. Read anything that has been published with your name on it, or even a paper that you got a good grade on. Whatever it is that will help you remember just how fantastic of a writer you are, and how successful you have been in the past. When you are done reliving your accomplishments, try going at it again. I guarantee it won’t be as hard after you remind yourself that you can do it.

Recommendations

After you have completed the internship, and provided your absolute best work, it’s time to prepare the application for the job. A part of the application is asking your internship advisor for a recommendation. At this point, you must have confidence that you did your best work during your time with the company. This recommendation could advance you greatly, but you must have the confidence in yourself to ask for it.

Don’t Overdo It

If you are picking up what I’m putting down, then you understand how important it is to believe in yourself. Once you have the power to inspire yourself to be the best public relations professional that you can be, you will be able to encourage others to do the same. This does not mean you should believe you are better than everybody else, or that you have nothing left to learn, but instead that you put your heart into everything, and as a result, reached success. Next time you begin to doubt yourself, remember your past accomplishments, and never stop working toward your PR dream.

The Advantages of Being a College Student

February 3, 2015 1 Comment

By: Morgan Borer, @MorganBorer

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Last semester, I took World History Since 1750, to fulfill my history requirement. There were mostly freshman, but sprinkled in there was a handful of sophomores and juniors. Somewhere between discussion of the Cold War and the spread of anti-colonial movements, my professor said something that has been etched in my mind ever since. While vehemently urging us to attend an extra credit presentation in Baker Theater, he said “Never again in your life will you have access to this many free resources. After college, you have to pay for everything. Take advantages of these opportunities while you can.”

While I may not recall the details of Jospeh Stalin’s reign, I definitely remember this. As a stereotypical Scripps student, I enjoy being overloaded with classes and student organizations. In the midst of these things, it is easy to forget about the wealth of on-campus resources that OU provides, specifically resources for Communications and PR students.  It is crucial, however, to make time and take advantage of them. After all, most of us only have four (maybe five) years to do so. These opportunities won’t last forever.

The Career and Leadership Development Center

The Ohio University Career and Leadership Development Center provides students with resources in several areas. These include choosing a major, exploring career options, and applying for graduate school. They help students develop leadership skills and work to accomplish career goals. During my first appointment, a faculty member reviewed my resume, LinkedIn profile, and gave me advice about searching for summer internships. The CLDC is open for 10 minute drop-ins Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., or 30 minute coaching appointments, which can be scheduled by calling 740-593-2909. They are located on the 5th floor of Baker Center. To learn more, visit their website at http://www.ohio.edu/careerandleadership/

Mock Interviews

The CLDC also offers a Mock Interview Program, which helps students prepare for employer or graduate interviews. These 30 minute mock interview sessions are conducted face to face, over the phone or via Skype. I have never done a mock interview, so I decided to register for a date in February. The CLDC is holding sessions on Thursday, Feb 12 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. in Baker Center 507. To register, you must activate your Bobcat CareerLink account at https://ohio-csm.symplicity.com/students/

BobCat Careerlink

In the past few months, this has become my go-to resource for everything job and internship related. Bobcat Careerlink provides current OU students and alumni with job and internship postings from a wide variety of fields. It allows users to post resumes, cover letters, transcripts and other documents online for employers to view.  All OU students are automatically registered for Bobcat CareerLink. Since I have started using this website, I’ve found several postings for summer internships in PR/Marketing/Communications. I’ve also registered for on-campus interviews and the Spring Career and Internship Fair, held on February 17-18 in Baker University Ballroom. To access Bobcat Careerlink, go to http://bit.ly/11bUtvD

Scripps PRSSA

Finally, there is arguably no better resource for aspiring public relations professionals than our very own website, scrippsprssa.org. The “Chapter Events” sidebar includes all upcoming events, conferences, meetings, etc. within the chapter. I refer to this weekly to ensure that I am informed and updated with all things PRSSA.

I whole-heartedly encourage you to take advantage of these free campus resources and search for more!

Four tried-and-true tips for improving your writing

February 2, 2015

By: Alexandra Corsi, @acorsi17

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Of all the skills public relations professionals need to be successful, writing is perhaps the most important. As a writing tutor, and an aspiring PRofessional, much of my college career has been spent trying to improve my writing abilities. Strengthening your writing skills, however, isn’t an easy task, but here are some tips to help you improve your writing.

Read the works of other authors’, and try to mimic their writing styles.

When I was younger, I loved to write stories, so I would read books and then try to write stories like the authors wrote. The same can go for press releases, blog posts, tweets…you name it. Learning the tricks of the trade from already-established authors can help you find your own voice when you write.

Write frequently, even if it is just in a journal. 

Journal writing seems pretty childish, I know, but anything that gets you to write just for the sake of writing is really helpful, if you’re looking to improve your writing skills. Writing for the sole purpose of getting a good grade, or finishing a task at work, is boring and usually something we don’t like (at least, I don’t like it!). It’s always easier to do something you like rather than forcing yourself to do something you don’t like. So, even if you’re reading or writing for pleasure, you will see improvements.

Read your writing aloud.

This is my favorite editing strategy and something I teach everyone I tutor in writing. What you’ve written sounds incredibly different in your head than when you read it out loud. Whether it’s a slightly awkward sentence, or an entire paper, reading your writing aloud will better show what sounds good and where you need to make edits.

Don’t give up after the first draft.

As author Ernest Hemingway so bluntly states, “The first draft of everything is sh!t.”  If the first draft of what you are writing is horrible, don’t be discouraged: read it through and rewrite it, change around the structure, try a different thesis, maybe even rewrite it. You’re not going to become the next Hemingway overnight, but each time you edit and rewrite your papers, you are gaining invaluable writing experience.

Just like Michael Phelps didn’t dive into a pool for the first time and break Olympic records, writing takes practice. You have to do your writing push-ups often to become a stronger, more effective writer. Practice makes perfect, especially when you are writing.

There’s No ‘I’ in Team

January 30, 2015

By: Allison Evans, @Allison_Evans

Teamwork and team spirit

We all love that public relations can take us down many avenues, and that no two resumes are the same. However, no matter which workplace you choose, you will have to be a team player. I’ve had so many valuable experiences to teach me what that means, and how far you may need to go for the people we respect and care for.

Team Client

The internship I took on as a freshman taught me that clients value humility and service in their representatives. I advocated for people with developmental disabilities, in the form of marketing their capabilities to local businesses, with the hope of creating employment opportunities for them. In other words, their finances and employment depended on our office. I can’t think of a moment where I felt more accomplished than when my clients opened their checks at the end of the week. I was a part of their team. They needed me, so I needed to do my job for them.

Team Community

One of the largest parts of our job as PR professionals is to inform the community. Working for the Department of Transportation taught me that people really do depend on the information they receive. In this case, knowing the conditions of the roadways meant their safety was dependent on that information. This extended to impaired driving workshops at the local colleges, helping students stay safe.

Our Team

There is no accomplishment within public relations that comes from a single person. With every project produced, there is a group of people that came together to produce it, and that is where the value lies within our profession. My internship with Global Prairie taught how to be a respected member of the internal team by having me cover for someone who was sick, stay late to meet a deadline, answer the phone when I was off and to do anything I could to make life easier for my teammates.

My resume may be full, and the words on it reflect my accomplishments. I am not blind, however, to the fact that these successes are not just my own, and that I couldn’t begin to tackle communication without the help of so many. Where would I be without my teams? I can hardly imagine.

How to use your PR Skills outside of the office

January 29, 2015

By: Elise Mills, @itsELISElove

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The clock reads five, so you grab your coat, say goodbye to a couple of colleagues, and head out for the day. You were on fire today, everything you touched seemed to turn into Social Media gold. You knew you were good at what you do, you just never thought you would be this good. You wonder: If I’m this good inside the office, I wonder how good I can be outside…

Instagram

Your friend is complaining that no one ever likes her photo, and she asks for your help. Using your PR skills, you post her next photo at the best time to catch the most amount of traffic without being lost among the stacks of new posts to get more attention on the photo. You also include basic hashtags so that the ghost followers and those attentive to certain things will see, and like, the photo. This will easily double the amount of double-taps, without even blinking.

Break-ups 

Your best friend calls, they were just dumped by their significant other, and they need some cheering up. When you walk through their doors all you see is a pile of used tissues and junk food wrappers. The stench of defeat and self-loathing is strong. You quickly put on your game face and go on the offense to change their perspective before it’s too late. With your quick thinking, you start altering their mindset to make the break-up seem more their idea.

Family

Holiday season is here, which means its time to play everyone’s favorite game.

Do you have a boyfriend? Despite showing up fresh-faced and all smiles, everybody in the family from little Susie, to Great Aunt Catherine, are  asking about your love life. Instead of reaching for the wine bottle, you smile and start in on your all but pre-planned love life press release.  “ I am not dating anyone except my schoolwork. I plan on graduating college with job offers, and I am very happy. At this time we are not accepting questions. Who wants something to drink?”

Despite your job only being (mostly) nine to five, your skills are an asset to you anywhere and at anytime.

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