Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Summer Reflection Series: Gentry Bennett

October 7, 2014

By: Gentry Bennett @Gen__andTonic


They say your career should involve what you do in your free time. Luckily for me, I love being online and procrastinate everything by getting on my laptop and browsing the web. My summer internship with NR Media Group allowed me to do just that, and in my pajamas!

Online internships are something I would recommend for everyone. They allow you the freedom to live in whichever city you choose and usually at your own schedule. Luckily I got the opportunity to reside in Dallas, Texas and have a job all while getting great experience in the lovely public relations field.

I was able to work with clients and develop internal strategies from the comfort of my couch. I was even flown out for my first business trip – a company retreat that was well received by all members of NR Media Group. We finally got to meet each other in person instead of simply communicating over Basecamp. The company culture is fantastic, and I wouldn’t trade in my experiences for the world. Luckily, I even got the opportunity to extend my internship while I’m in school.

I also got to launch all of our internal social media accounts within the past month and get to contribute writing to an audience of thousands each week on Tuesdays about topics that I love.

Overall, my summer internship was a great experience – I got to do research, client work and write about topics I’m passionate about. What more could I ask for?

Summer Reflection Series: Devon Pine

October 6, 2014

By: Devon Pine @LuckyNumbrDevon


Country Roads take me…to work

After various applications, rejections and turning down internships that I just couldn’t swing, I accepted my summer fate and moved back home with mom and dad. I was a few days into waiting tables when I received notice from McKinley for Congress 2014 inviting me to their team as a campaign intern. So, I packed up and headed to West by-God Virginia.

Looking back, I got more than a few writing samples and free lunches out of my internship:

Traditional PR isn’t dead. Working in politics, I found out fairly quickly that while social media and other digital forums were used, traditional media relations and grassroots marketing were the campaign’s focus. We worked mostly with volunteers and donors over the age of 60, who preferred to see things in hard print. While social is an extremely important ingredient in the PR mix, skills like writing a great press release or complying a solid media list are your bread and butter.

There is no “typical day” in the office. One week consisted of going to a Young Republicans luncheon, the next day I’m writing press releases, Thursday we’re painting a new office location and Saturday afternoon I’m knocking doors/taking surveys. Whether you’re in a corporate, nonprofit or agency setting, be prepared to move quickly and work on various projects throughout the internship.

Research your field. I am not a West Virginian and I am not a Republican. Yet, here I am working for a Congressman who is both. You may not be familiar with, or even agree with your client’s business, but it is crucial you do your homework and understand it. We’re here to take the medical, tech or political jargon and translate it into something their consumers can comprehend.

As October begins, I have a few goals for my last semester at Ohio University.

Start a career in corporate PR. Wait…what? As much as I loved my internship, lets be honest, not getting paid for 30 hours of work per week can be the pits. I’m sure this goal is shared among us PR stars (especially the seniors).

Be a dependable mentor. I don’t know where I would be without many of the past leaders of PRSSA and ImPRessions. Knowing I could count on them for advice was extremely beneficial. I hope that I can help another Bobcat reach his or her goals, even if it’s just helping set my co-Account Exec and the rest of the AVW account up for success next semester.

Cross everything off of my OU bucket list. It hasn’t exactly been easy accepting the fact that I’m leaving Heaven on Earth in just a few short months. Let’s see how many PRSSA meetings I can attend, UPC comedy shows I can laugh at and slices Goodfellas I can eat before December 12th.

Summer Reflection Series: Carolyn Nachman

October 1, 2014

By: Carolyn Nachman @carolynnachman

When I began college at OU three years ago I knew I wanted to spend one summer in Athens before I graduated. With one summer left, it was my last chance to experience Athens in all its summer glory. When it was time to start my summer internship search, I started looking around Athens and the surrounding area. For such a small town there are more opportunities than you would think. Between internships with the school, and newspapers in the surrounding area, there was plenty to apply to. And then I got an email about an internship opportunity with a non-profit environmental sustainability organization. Having never worked in non-profit, or really thought about working in non-profit, I applied on a whim. After an interview, I got the internship doing social media and communications at Rural Action.


After a three-month internship working in the non-profit sector of communications, I started to re-think my plans after graduation. I absolutely loved working for a non-profit organization. Working towards something you actually believe in, and working with people who are passionate and dedicated towards what they’re doing is an amazing experience. It’s nice to be able to make a phone call, and at the end of the conversation hear the person on the other end of the line tell you what a great job your organization is doing and how you’re really making a difference. It’s nice to hear, and not the kind of thing many people get to hear on a daily basis.

Another thing that was nice about working at a smaller organization is that I got to do a little bit of everything. My main work was with social media, but I got to work on event planning as well and a little bit with Photoshop (a new experience for me) – although the program still terrifies me.

I had all these amazing work experiences while also enjoying Athens summer. Trips to Strouds, beer at the River Park pool, and not having to push your way through crowded bars on Court Street are just a few of the many perks of summer in Athens. Then there’s Boogie on the Bricks, which was by far my favorite weekend in Athens to date. If nothing else, make sure you are in Athens for that one weekend during the summer.

Overall, my main takeaways from this summer are as follows:

  • Experience a new area of strategic communications you’ve never considered working with before. You never know what you could be missing out on.
  • Experience summer in Athens, it’s the only time in your life you’ll be able to do that – and trust me, you won’t want to miss Boogie on the Bricks.


Summer Reflection Series: Annie Beard

September 30, 2014

By: Annie Beard @annie_beard

I spent the past summer completely out of my comfort zone, and it turned out to be an awesome and rewarding experience. It was definitely a summer full of going to new places and trying new things.

To start, I spent the first two weeks in Europe with my boyfriend and our Contiki tour group. This was an amazing experience because our group consisted of people from all over the world. Not only did I learn so much about Europe and the places we visited, but also I learned about people in my group and their countries. I even picked up some Australian slang terms, such as sunnies (sunglasses) and Eskie (cooler). Along with some slang terms, I learned how much I love to travel and see new places, and I can’t wait to go on another trip in the future.


Once I returned to the States, it was time to start my internship – so I picked up and moved to Chicago! I interned with Tell Your Story Brand Communications, Inc., a small integrated marketing and PR agency. The founder of Tell Your Story, George Rafeedie, is an Ohio University alum, whom I met during his trip to Athens as the Jerry Sloan Visiting Professional. While interning, I worked with a team of five PR and marketing pros, who taught me so much about the industry. It was my first agency internship, and it confirmed that I want to work for an agency after graduation. Living in downtown Chicago didn’t hurt the experience either!

from the opera

This summer taught me a few lessons that I will take with me into my future:

  • Get out of your comfort zone. Try new things and travel to new places. Meet new people and learn new stuff. As scary as it seems, it will always pay off and teach you something you weren’t expecting to learn. Getting outside of your comfort zone will completely change you – in a good way!
  • If you work hard, people will want to help you out. (Especially Bobcats). My Tell Your Story coworkers always wanted to see me succeed, and they still do. They have become some of my biggest cheerleaders, whether they are recommending me on LinkedIn or sharing a soccer highlight video of me on Twitter. It is an awesome feeling to know that your hard work is appreciated and that people support you.
  • Go with the flow. PR is an industry that requires adaptability. Keep an open mind, and be willing to change plans if necessary. As PR Pros, we must be ready for anything that comes our way. 

Now that I am a senior, the real world will be here before I know it. I am excited to take the lessons that I have learned into my future.


Summer Reflection Series: Austin Ambrose

September 29, 2014

By: Austin Ambrose @tex_ambrose7

As a journalism major, one would expect me to have an internship working for a publication, a media company or PR position, but I took a very different opportunity. This summer, I decided to take a teaching fellow position for Breakthrough Collaborative, and teach seventh grade biology to underserved students in Birmingham, Alabama.

Breakthrough Collaborative is a national organization that recruits college-age students to teach in underserved urban schools across the country. The goal for the organization is to help fill the summer gap with an academic program that helps prepare students to succeed in high school, and on through college.

Yes, I was a teacher for two months. I made lesson plans, taught classes, had staff meetings and advised students. I learned more from this experience than any other in my life.

Making a lesson plan is a lot like putting together an agenda for a meeting

You have to know the objective of the meeting, the process it is going to take to reach this objective and having all of the proper material needed to have a successful meeting. It also requires good timing, so you can fit in everything in the allotted time. You have to be prepared to answer questions and keep control of the group. There are always unexpected bumps in the road, but you learn to roll with it and figure it out later.

These skills mirror those of a PR professional. Making agendas for meetings, planning out what needs to be accomplished at the meeting and being ready to answer questions that pop up. I feel more confident running a meeting, after standing in front of a group of seventh graders, than I ever have before.

I also learned that confidence is everything.

You have to believe that you know what you are doing, and own the experience. If you make a mistake, own up to that mistake. People are much more forgiving if you admit to a mishap as soon as it occurs. Being a teacher, you have to learn how to control emotions and work with an array of different students, and coworkers. There will be some that you work with better, and others that you have to learn to deal with. This is a skill that every professional needs to learn, because you are always going to be working with people, especially in the PR realm.

The Breakthrough organization as a whole has taught me how to set clear expectations for the people you are working with. Have a guideline that you can hold people to, so it is clear what’s expected of each member of the group.

Finally, it’s all play and a little work.

Finding a job that you are passionate about is key. If you are working a job that you love, it will make it seem like play. There will be moments it feels like work, but when the play outweighs the work, you know that you have made the right choice. Even after waking up on 5 hours of sleep most days, I was ready for the next day because I was excited about being with my students for another day of learning.

It may have been nontraditional, but the skills I learned were some that I never could have received from a journalism internship, but I feel more prepared to enter the field. Don’t always think inside the box – try something completely different. You never know what you will learn.

Summer Reflection Series: Billy Hartman

September 26, 2014

By: Billy Hartman @billyhartman15


This past summer I had the pleasure of interning the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, aka the NSCAA. This was one of the two World Cup trips offered by the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. I had the pleasure of going to Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, and Cologne – all to cover the World Cup from a European’s perspective.

I learned quite a lot this pat summer. I didn’t just learn about Sports Public Relations and Sports Journalism, but a lot about the different cultures from around the globe. We read about Paris and the Eiffel Tower, but it’s completely different when you’re walking underneath the Tower – such a cool experience, by the way!


Three things that I learned this summer:

  1. Be Ready for Anything. Since we were in Europe, we didn’t have the pleasure of using 3G or 4G when out and about. Meaning, we had to put all of our trust in our hotel’s Wi-Fi. Let me tell you that did not go so well. In Paris, we crashed our hotel’s Wi-Fi because so many of us were trying to upload videos and stories. The challenge we faced was trying to post things in real time. We were 6 hours ahead in Europe – that meant when the USA game started at 6:00 pm in America, it was midnight in Paris. So, we were up extremely late and working with terrible Internet, but after a few days we adapted. That leads me into my second point…
  2. Be Adaptable. I served as the co-host of NSCAA’s coverage of the 2014 World Cup. Whatever the producer told me to do, I had to do – and do it quickly. In Paris everyone wanted to take group pictures with the Eiffel Tower; however, we only had 20 minutes. In those 20 minutes, I had to take pictures, and also bust out my intro and outro – in one take. It was stressful, but I adapted. I think being ready for anything and adapting quickly is something essential in the PR/Journalism world. Lucky for me, I didn’t have too much trouble with it because I loved what I was doing and who I was working with. Which again, leads to my next point…
  3. I love Sports, Journalism, PR, and the Students in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Late nights, long days, no Internet, carrying camera bags and tripods, and laptops everywhere – none of that bothered me. I learned how much I love what I do. Not only did I get to cover the World Cup, go to Europe and experience things that some people may never experience, I got to do it was some of my best friends. To say we were stressed is an understatement. However, everyone on the trip got along and worked through the tough times together. I could not have asked for a better summer internship.


Now, three goals I have for this semester:

  1. Increase the amount of likes on Facebook, followers on Twitter and Instagram! If you don’t already like all of Scripps’ social media outlets, GO LIKE THEM! #PersonalPlug
  2. Keep Dr. Stewart Happy. This is a HUGE one. This is my fourth year on the Scripps ImPRessions account and third as AE – I’m trying to keep Dr. Stewart happy by doing whatever he says.
  3. Kill It. It’s Fall Semester of my senior year, and I want my entire account to kill it – with whatever it may be! Do the best work we can possibly do, which I know is great work!


Summer Reflection Series: Morgan Brenner

September 25, 2014

PR Lessons while Waitressing

By: Morgan Brenner @morganbren

After getting through my first year as a full time college student, I decided to hold off on the stress of searching for an internship and find a job for the summer. I ended up being hired at a family owned restaurant as a server. At first it seemed like a total opposite experience from anything I could be learning about public relations in an internship. However, by the end of the summer I had more confidence in the field I was going into than ever.

Into the first few weeks of my new waitressing gig I realized how much I underestimated how difficult the job would actually be. Just when I had finished finals, I realized how much I would need to memorize to be able to do this job. The restaurant required every server to memorize and understand over 50 appetizers and entrees, as well as an extensive drink menu. Not only that, but I had to remember when my customers ordered their food and drinks so I could deliver them in a timely fashion.

It was overwhelming how much attention to detail mattered in the restaurant business – a lesson I believe can cross over into any career I may have in the future. Most people, whether it’s ordering food or planning an event, don’t think about every little detail. But if someone ordered a salad and didn’t tell me what dressing they wanted, they’d blame me for not asking.

Serving is one of the unique jobs where how well you do your job directly effects how much you get paid. There was a lot of times where I would be overwhelmed with the amount of tables I had, but I would still refuse to give my tables to other more experienced waitresses because I didn’t want to loose out on the cash. I ended up doing a bad job with more tables, and making less money, than if I had taken fewer tables and focused on making them happy. Taking on more than you know you can handle is a big no no. Everyone has a limit, and it’s important to know what that is.

One thing that stood out to me about some of the staff that differed from what I did, was a lot of people just told the customer what they wanted to hear. If I didn’t like something on the menu I would tell them (if my boss wasn’t near me), and customers really respected me for that. Of course you want to make money for whomever you’re working for, but you may lose a customer if you’re not honest with them. It’s all part of respecting people you’re working with even if they may not be your favorite person.

Despite there being many lessons that translated over to the PR world in waiting on tables, the biggest thing I learned this summer was that serving people food was not what I wanted to do for my whole entire life. I have a lot of respect for the people I worked with that do that for a living, and I am so grateful for the opportunities I have. So next time you’re at a restaurant, don’t forget to tip! (Seriously though, that’s just rude.)

Summer Reflection Series: Kelsey Miller

September 24, 2014

Don’t Judge an Internship by its Location

By: Kelsey Miller @Kelsey_65

marionWhen you live in a small city, the last thing that you want to do is stay there for an internship – I was no exception. Being from a small, rural community, Marion,OH was the last place I wanted to go to get internship experience for the summer before my junior year – but that was where I stayed. By the time I started looking for internships last year, I was out of luck in finding myself an internship. I did get interviews, but I kept getting the same feedback from them: we want someone older. Feeling discouraged and upset, I settled for a social media internship at my local visitors bureau in Marion.

I quickly realized that this was actually a blessing in disguise. My whole life I have been told that my hometown wasn’t a good place to live and had nothing to do. Working at the visitors bureau really opened my eyes to what my community really has to offer its people. Marion was actually rich with history and museums of all sorts that no one seems to recognize or even know about. I had friends coming to me for making plans because I always learned about events going on and new coffee shops that were opening.

The bureau had a summer campaign called “Marion’s Amazing Treasures” which featured about two-dozen places around Marion to visit. Every place that you visited would give out stickers to put on your grid. They let me do the Amazing Treasures activity, and had me blog and write for the Marion newspaper about my experiences at all of the different places. I became a better writer from all of the blogging that I had done, and had gotten my own blog as a result!

I was also able to do some great networking, as well as meet a lot of great people. One of the women that I blogged with working on the Amazing Treasures project, worked with the Ohio Historical Society for a long time, and has some great contacts with a lot of Tourism PR people – including a woman that does PR for the whole state of Ohio, which is the area of PR that I want to do! She also has great connections with Discover Ohio (the tourist magazine that Ohio puts on to attract business).

This was definitely a diamond-in-the-rough kind of internship, and I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything. The women that I worked with were incredible people inside and out, and taught me things outside of PR like the importance of family and love. My summer really showed me not to discredit any experience and make the most out of it – you never know what you may learn or whom you might run into.

Summer Reflection Series: Lindsey Zimmerman

September 23, 2014

The Tale of Two Internships

By: Lindsey Zimmerman @lindseyzim716


This summer, I had the unique experience of working not just one, but two communications internships. I worked full-time as a corporate communications intern at Battelle, a research and development company in my hometown of Columbus, and I also had a virtual social media internship with a site called College Tourist. Although managing two internships was not without its challenges, I learned so much about two very different industries and about communications as a whole throughout the summer.

I’ll admit that I was a little bit hesitant going into my internship at Battelle, which is known for its science and technology work, because I really don’t know much about science/tech at all. Without a doubt, the most important thing I learned throughout my time there was to ask questions. The first few times I was asked to interview one of our scientists or engineers about the various projects they were working on, I felt annoying asking them to clarify some of the technical jargon they were using because I had no idea what they were talking about. Although after a while I realized that most of them were aware of the fact that people outside their area of expertise might need more clarification, and they were happy to provide it.

One of my favorite things about my position at College Tourist was the fact that I was able to read all of the interesting articles on the site before posting them to social media. However, I quickly realized that some articles were more social media-friendly than others. In some situations, I wasn’t sure how to create engagement, which forced me to get creative. Sometimes that would involve tagging a business or restaurant that was mentioned in the article, or asking followers a question when I posted the link and encouraging them to respond.

With both internships, time management was a crucial skill. Even with only one position, knowing how to manage your time is extremely important. Procrastination is always tempting, especially when you have a computer and the internet at your disposal, but getting things done as soon as possible will save you a lot of time and frustration at the end of the day.

Now that fall semester is in full swing, it’s starting to hit me that all of this will be over soon. I’m graduating a year early this May, so these next few months are going to be extremely bittersweet. During the fall, I want to stick to a schedule that will allow me to get things done without being overwhelmed, help my ImPRessions account to accomplish all of our goals, and do something every day that will get me closer to where I want to be after graduation.

Summer Reflection Series: Laine Carey

September 22, 2014

What I Learned From My Experiential Marketing Internship

By: Laine Carey @snakesona_laine

I’ve been asked a lot recently, “What did you do this summer?” I say, “Well, I was a giant cookie.” Ummm it’s hard to explain. Just look:

Smiley, Eat N'Park's Mascot

Smiley, Eat’n Park’s Mascot

But honestly, I did a lot more than just prance around in a cookie suit. I drove the Cookie Cruiser, too!


Needless to say, my internship was incredibly fun. But in all seriousness, I learned so much. Along with 4 other girls, I travelled all over Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio on behalf of Eat’n Park Hospitality Group. We were Eat’n Park Team Smiley, and we worked as travelling brand ambassadors. We went to places like parish festivals, baseball games, zoos, various benefit walks, etc. so Smiley could make an appearance – and so we could hand out free Eat’n Park Smiley Cookies!

Without getting too in-detail about the specific company, here’s what I learned about PR and marketing in general:

  • Know the brand like the back of your hand. (Hey, that rhymed!) I’ve worked for Eat’n Park since I was 16. When it came time to travel to Ohio and West Virginia (where there’s significantly less brand familiarity than in PA) clear, concise explanations of Eat’n Park’s brand were a necessity. Knowing everything about the company you’re working for makes a world of difference.
  • Never underestimate good old face-to-face interaction. Granted, we ran the Team Smiley Twitter and Instagram Accounts as well as the blog, which were important too. However, we also encouraged dialogue at our events – we talked to people about Eat’n Park, directed them to our website, promoted our Instagram contest, verbally promoted summer specials, etc. We also gained a lot of valuable feedback about Eat’n Park restaurants just from attending community events and being our regular, fun selves.
  • Have fun. Sorry this one’s so cheesey. I absolutely loved my job this summer, so this was easy. We were the face of the brand, out there interacting with the community. The second we arrived at the event and stepped out of the Cookie Cruiser, we had to be walking, talking, crazy balls of joy and fun – because that’s what Eat’n Park is all about. People, especially kids, are smart and perceptive. They would’ve known if we had been faking it. So, it’s a good thing I loved the heck out of my internship!

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