Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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For all the Incoming Scripps Kids

August 6, 2014

By: Kelly Hayes @kmshayes

ohiou1
It’s almost here: the day when you finally walk through College Green and are officially a Bobcat. We are one giant happy family, with a few mishaps here and there. However, for all of you freshman new to the Scripps school, you made the right choice. Welcome to the happiest place on earth.

As a senior entering my last semester at Ohio University, I can only enter it with bittersweet feelings. This summer I spent my time interning at Ogilvy & Mather in Chicago, ready to enter the adult world… boy will I miss Scripps.

What to expect your first few weeks

You are going to go to many, many meetings. I encourage you to go to as many as you want. Sign up for every email list possible, because to find your niche in Scripps you have to try. I signed up for four email lists when I was a freshman – Thread Magazine, PRSSA, ImPRessions and RTDNA. I stuck with two: PRSSA and ImPRessions.

Don’t feel pressured

You do not have to stick to one track. If you want to write for the post and work with WOUB, go for it! The amazing thing about Scripps is that you have the advantage to do what you want to. You’re not stuck in one place because that’s the norm, we all have different paths within the Scripps school – and it’s made us better journalists, writers, editors, PR professionals, advertising gurus and broadcast anchors because of it.

Speak up and try

You won’t know if you like something until you try. Volunteer if it sounds interesting to you. I volunteered for so much in the beginning and it started to overwhelm me a little, but many people will be in the same position as you. And for all the seniors – we’ve been there and won’t bite. Scripps kids stick together.

Talk to your professors, they are much cooler than you think

I would give a shout-out to all of my favorite journalism professors right now, but I’d just be listing all of them. I’ve never had a bad professor, and they give amazing advice. When I had my phone interview for Ogilvy & Mather, I went to Professor Farkas asking for advice –it definitely was great advice because here I am, eight weeks into my dream internship.

Say Hi

Again, we seniors don’t bite. I always love meeting new people in Scripps and helping them out with anything they need. If you’re a freshman, say hi. I was a shy person my freshman year at those PRSSA and Thread meetings, but eventually I just said hi and it all worked out.

Be prepared for the best three to four years of your life

2014-07-10 18.09.06I say three to four because I’m graduating a semester early, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without Scripps. I’ve accomplished so much in my college career with the help of ImPRessions, PRSSA, my professors and friends. I will be very, very sad to leave this place in December, but I know I can always come back and visit the place that helped me get to where I am today: The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

 

Should I add Personality into my Resume?

August 5, 2014

By: Kate Schroeder @kschroeds7

resume

Resume building and writing cover letters has to be the most daunting and dreadfully boring tasks of the job or internship search process. Personally, I would rather sit in an extra hour of interviews than to summarize my skills on an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper. However, this process still stands as one of the most important in the application process. I admit I am not an expert; I still reference my how to guides and our awesome ImPRessions blog for hints and tips. Nevertheless, using the cut-and-dry formats and the basic structures I realized that none of my personality was shining through. How are future employers going to know who I am and how I can better there company without being creative and expressive? This is why I believe that putting personality in your resume is the secret ingredient to go from a contender to “I got the job!”

So why do we need to put personality into a resume? Don’t employers just want to see if you have the necessary skills to do the job well? Well yes … and no. It is essential to have the skill set to be successful at the job you are applying for. It is also important to show you fit into the job you are applying for. Employers are looking for someone who is going to better their company and enhance their employee atmosphere. Are you an outgoing person, or are you quiet and reserved? If your personality shines through your resume, you will be more likely to be asked back for an interview. Also, it’s a benefit to you. You want to be sure you get a position at a company is right for you!

You may ask, “But how do I put my personality into my resume? Where is there room?” The biggest opportunity for showcasing your personality is through the design of your resume. I try and re-design my resume for each position I apply for (granted I have the time). Have one basic resume you can hand out on the fly that best describes your personality through over-all design. When applying for specific positions feel free to take create and alter your design to fit that position, just like you alter your resume’s content to fit your position. This past school year I applied for a position in the Women’s Panhellenic Association. I took that opportunity to add more bright, girly colors and quirky shapes. I also visually represented more skills instead of typing them out. If you are creative let it show! This will show potential employers that you don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk as well.

If design is not your forte it’s okay! There are many other ways to show your personality through your resume! One way to do that is to write how you speak in your cover letter and resume. You should still stay formal since it is a professional piece of writing, but you don’t need to fill in the blanks from every how to guide. Instead of saying, “In reference to the recent opening at company XYZ” say, “I was thrilled to learn that the such-and-such position at company XYZ because it is exactly the job I want to apply for. “ Don’t be coy or shy. Say outright if you have certain qualities that fit the job position and let your potential employer know you and no one else is the right person for the job!

 

Is it Weird for a Potential Employer to Follow Me?

August 4, 2014

By: Amanda Moline @amandamoline

Picture that little (1) next to the PR lover’s favorite little bell, sounding a new Twitter notification. You rush to check who will now be updated with the glorious 140-character proverbs that are your daily Tweets, when you realize that the person you just recently interviewed with, your potential employer, is now following you on Twitter. So…is that weird?

You’ve used social media to connect with friends from classes, student orgs, or even people you’ve met online, but what about a potential employer? When used professionally and carefully, social media can be utilized to maintain connections and allow others to get to know you. If you’re considering interacting with a potential employer on Twitter or any other social media site, make sure to keep these tips in mind.

-Follow the company in general, rather than the specific employer, and follow them hard. If you’re truly interested in working for a company, it’s helpful to know about their culture and their online content.

-If you connect with anyone related to the company whatsoever, make sure your Twitter is Grandma-approved. This means not having anything on your pages that you’d be embarrassed having your Grandmother see. Keep it clean or it could cost you the job.

-Be sure to use your social media accounts to equally push out valuable information and connect with others. Of course it’s a great idea to share a relevant article that you feel your Twitter followers may enjoy as much as you did, but continuously being a “news feed” is bland and overdone. Create and share original content, especially if you have your own blog.

-Don’t thank your interviewer over Twitter, that’s just lame and lazy. Write them an actual thank you note or thank you email – it does wonders.

The verdict: as long as you keep it clean and have valuable interactions, it can actually be valuable to have your potential employer follow and interact with you.

Why a Personal Blog/Website looks Good on a Resume

August 1, 2014

By: Morgan Peterson @mopeeeezy

When trying to land the perfect dream job, it’s important to find a way to stand out to the employer. Sure you might have a perfect resume and transcript, but you are a dime a dozen to some employers. If you don’t get the opportunity to get an interview, a personal website is one of the best ways to stand out from other candidates.

Showcase Your Work

With a personal website, you can market yourself and your work, however you want to. By creating this website you have an exclusive space of your best work. It’s also easy for employers to click and see if they like you, allowing the experience on your resume come to life. Also by showing the work that you do, it shows employers that you have enough pride and confidence in your work to showcase it to the world.

Build Your Brand

Building a website allows you to create a virtual gallery of all of your best work. Even though social media is great, a personal website is just that – personal. You don’t have to worry about trying to stand out because it’s your website. It shows that you care enough about your work and your brand if you took time out to create a full website for it. It’s the one space on the Internet that is all yours so really put some time and effort into building it. Maybe take a weekend just for personal branding. Some great places to start to make a website would be weebly.com, wix.com, fourspace.com or WordPress.com. These website building sites are easy to use and not expensive to acquire your own personal domain. Who knows you could get a job just by an employer looking at your website!

You aren’t the norm

Not many people have their own personal website so by making one you’re already one step ahead! It also shows that you have acquired specials skills to build a website. Learning how to build a website helps you to gain many skills especially when it comes to programming or coding. In PR it’s often good to know how to work with technical things because you never know when you might be asked to design something on the fly. This allows you to be a really well rounded candidate.

Turning a Website Platform to a Personal Stage

July 31, 2014

By: Morgan Brenner @morganbren 

You find a personal brand, you design your social media around that brand, but then what? Resumes tell future employers about work history and special talents but they don’t cover everything you may define yourself by. Personal websites are the perfect platforms to get across every personal or professional aspect you want others to have access to. With the magic of customizable website platforms even someone with no HTML experience can make their perfect personal web page.

flavors.me

For the more visual based young professional this site is easy to use and easy to customize. A plus to Flavors is that it offers custom web address hosting. It is also extra easy to integrate any and all social media into your website. Many of the sites are image based so it seems to be directed more for people in a creative or visual field. It is easy to upload high quality photos (that stay high quality) to your cover page for the more artistic feel.

flavor

WordPress

This platform is obviously used by the most elite, such as the wonderful student-run PR firm, Ohio U ImPRessions, but is definitely the most accessible. For those who have never touched web design before, there are many diverse templates with hundreds of color choices. For those more experienced in HTML coding, there is an option to completely do-it-yourself as far as customization goes. The domain name comes with “wordpress.com,” unless you pay for it. The platform takes up 19 percent of the Web and is considered the “most sophisticated.” There’s no doubt that WordPress is one of the most customizable and professional, it’s close to perfect.

Squarespace

If you have turned on a television or listened to the radio in the last year you’ve most likely heard an advertisement for Squarespace. Although there is a fee of $8 per month it is the most popular among small businesses and young professionals. However, it’s worth the price. It comes with gorgeous designs and you get constant updates and maintenance. It may not be the site for those starting out who don’t even make $8 an hour, but certainly something to have in the future.

When choosing a personal website it’s important for it to be easy to create but much more important for it to fit to your brand. There are hundreds and hundreds of easy to use sites that anyone can create their own personal page on. So don’t just settle, continue to create your brand to perfection!

Creating a Successful Twitter Contest

July 30, 2014

By: Elaine Carey @snakesona_laine

#esurancesaves30 Superbowl Twitter contest

#esurancesaves30 Superbowl Twitter contest

Twitter contests are great ways to build buzz and increase brand engagement, as well as gain new followers, improve brand presence and convert followers to email leads. But beware – an effective contest takes some serious planning. Let’s hop to it!

First thing’s first, let’s start with some simplified guidelines from Twitter:

  • Make it clear to your followers that making multiple accounts to enter a contest will cause them to be ineligible – And Twitter will suspend ALL of their accounts. Explicitly state that each user can only enter once.
  • Don’t make it about quantity. Don’t say anything along the lines of “whoever uses this hashtag the most wins”. Set a rule saying that multiple entries in a day will not be accepted.
  • Ask users to tweet directly at you (@username) in their entry. This will enable you to see all the updates in your Mentions timeline, and it is harder to miss entries this way.
  • Be smart. Check out the The Twitter Rules, the Twitter 101 For Business Guide, and Twitter Search Rules and Restrictions.

Once you’ve done your preliminary research, it’s time to make a clear plan!

Choose a Contest Type

Based on your business’s goals, different types of contests are appropriate. Be strategic. For example, if you want to make immediate sales, run a group deal or coupon to get entrants quickly. If you want increased engagement, then user-generated contests, such as a photo contest may be your cup of tea. Sweepstakes, vote contests, photo contests, photo caption contests, Pinterest contests, group deals – so many choices! Pick what is best for you. It could be as simple as “retweet to win”.

Pick a Prize

The prize is the motivating factor for entry. Keep your prize related to your contest. Entice your followers!

Create your Contest

A short, sweet call-to-action, like “Enter to Win a $100 Gift Card to Cool Clothes Inc.!” is the way to go. Post a picture, if possible. This gives followers a valuable visual motivator. Include information and rules, like some of the guidelines we talked about earlier. You can add a link to an outside rules and restrictions page.

Promote and Share

Email your customer email lists, promote your contest on ALL social networks, add a banner to your website, create a Twitter Ad, promote your contest through earned media (ex. If you are in the waterskiing industry, pitch your contest to online waterskiing magazines), and list your contest on popular contesting websites. Do it all!

Monitor Your Contest

Whether you use Google Alerts, Hootsuite, whatever – monitoring your contest gets you better results.

Post-contest Promotion

Send a personalized follow-up email to contest entrants. Keep connected and convert them into sales! Or, create a video showcasing your process of choosing a winner, including the best entries. Drag out the hype as long as possible.

Twitter contests can be incredibly effective and fun when executed properly. If you tailor your contest to your business’s needs, success will follow.

Congratulations! You’ve just won some free Twitter contest knowledge. Use it well!

 

 

 

How Many Internship Should You Apply for?

July 29, 2014

By Sydney Gardner @sydneygardner

syd

Internship application season often features students huddled around laptops with too big of cups of coffee in their hands. Some students will start the search as early as possible; while others may wait to binge apply over winter break. But at what point are you supposed to stop? There’s is no magic number when it comes to applying for internships. However there are a few steps you can take to make your search a little more efficient.

Know what you want.

Before applying to a single internship, you need to figure out what it is you want from it. This goes beyond just picking a company you admire or think would be fun to work at. It’s really important to determine what it is you want, and need, to get from any internship for you to consider it a success at the end. You are going to want to consider: location, duration, job responsibilities, office culture, whether it’s paid or unpaid and industry. One of the hardest things I faced from my internship search was having to turn down offers because it just was not a realistic option for me. Never apply to internship that you have no intent on taking. Consider what internships you want, and what internships are a feasible for you. Apply to the internships that fall into both those categories.

Be organized.

Taking simple steps throughout your internship application process will set you up to be more successful towards the end. Creating an Excel sheet with all the internships you want to apply for is a great way to keep track of all your activity. My excel sheet featured the internship listing link, location, pay rate, date applied, what I sent with my application, date contacted by company, who I was contacted by and if I was/was not offered the internship. Not only is this a great way to keep track of all your hard work, but it’s a good visual for you to see how much work you’ve done, and still need to do. Nothing is worse than realizing you forgot to send in a writing sample or return a call from two weeks ago. It also can serve as great starting point when you go to apply for internships the next season/year.

Quality always beats quantity.

Does it matter that you applied to 30+ internships if everything you sent out was done poorly? Applying to a large amount of internships is great, but only if you are putting in the same time and effort into the last cover letter that you put into the first one. If you’re at the point where you are considering using a generic cover letter, then it’s probably time to stop. You only get one first impression with companies so you want to make sure it’s the best one to you have. Working hard is awesome, accidently sending the wrong cover letter because your exhausted is not.

I know the title of this promised a number so I’ll give you one: 14. That’s how many internships I applied to for the summer 2014 season. When I look back I think 14 was a little much, but it was the number I felt comfortable with. You may, and should, have your own number. It might be more and it might be less, but as long as it’s what you’re comfortable with, it’s a good number. The most important part of applying for internships is being true to you. In your resume, in your cover letters, in your interviews. Do what you are comfortable with and the rest will fall into place.

The Tipping Point

July 28, 2014

By: Morgan Borer @morganborer

tipping pt

What are social epidemics? The word “epidemic” is an adjective meaning widespread, contagious or sweeping. The word “social” suggests person-to-person contact. This concept seems awfully simple to understand. However, before diving into “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” by Malcolm Gladwell, I didn’t understand the meaning of a social epidemic, nor had I ever heard of a “tipping point.” These concepts were as foreign to me as the French language.

This summer, after finishing “The Innocent Man” by John Grisham (a New York Times bestseller, which I highly recommend), I was hungry for another good book. I blatantly ignored all of the hype about “The Fault in Our Stars” and did a Google search instead. Though I am somewhat embarrassed to admit, I typed in “best books for read for PR professionals” or something of that nature. BAM! I found Business Insider’s list of the “10 Must-Read Public Relations and Marketing Books.” Seems legit, right? Number two on the list was “The Tipping Point.” Moments later and a few clicks on amazon.com, the book was en route to my doorstep.

In “The Tipping Point,” Gladwell examines the way that ideas, trends and social behaviors change all at once and spread like fire. He takes something very small and explains how it can cause great change. In the book, Gladwell points to three rules of epidemics: the law of the few, the stickiness factor and the power of context.

The law of the few means that it takes a tiny army of people to drive a social epidemic. These few people cause something – perhaps a disease – to tip and spread rapidly. These people are not ordinary; they possess qualities that you or I do not have.

The stickiness factor means that people remember it. Advertisers want to impact people with their messages by making them memorable. Finally, the power of context highlights the fact that epidemics are extremely sensitive to changes in context. The conditions and circumstances in which an epidemic occurs cause it to “tip.”

In “The Tipping Point,” Gladwell addresses a wide range of epidemics to aid his arguments, including Hush Puppies (the once-popular American suede shoes) a gonorrhea epidemic, and even Blue’s Clues and Sesame Street. Having watched both shows a generous number of times as a child, I was very interested in his comparison and evaluation of the shows. Sesame Street was wildly successful because the researchers and producers tapped into the minds of preschoolers. They ran tests to see what the teenyboppers remembered and what “stuck” with them. Month after month, year after year, the segments became more entertaining and memorable. Sesame Street was a television epidemic, and the world became infected.

Blue’s Clues took a different approach. It relied on one actor, Steve, and a star dog, Blue, instead of a large cast. It’s less humorous and clever than Sesame Street. How did it see higher ratings? According to Gladwell, Sesame Street used advanced humor to appease adult viewers. Often, children simply didn’t understand it. When children don’t understand what they are watching, they stop paying attention. Also, Sesame Street was divided into dozens of very short segments, all separate from one another. Children were scratching their heads trying to connect ideas and concepts. Blue’s Clues turned a new page and invented something unique. They created an interactive show – one where Steve asks questions, pauses and waits for the viewer’s response. The predictability, simplicity and repetitiveness of the show worked like a charm. Sesame Street was more sticky than jam.

Personally, I felt like I could relate to the majority of Gladwell’s ideas, particularly the idea of “social channel capacity.” Humans are highly sophisticated when it comes to relationships. We enjoy socializing with large groups and having intimate relationships. Is there a limit to our socialization? The answer is yes. 150 is the number of people that we can have a genuine, close relationship with. My lips curled into a smile when I read this. Think about that next time you feel envious of someone with 1,000+ Instagram followers. How many of those people do they really know?

All in all, this book is a must-read for public relations professionals, but also journalists, marketers, advertisers, psychologists and business professionals. It’s about communication and how ideas and trends spread. It’s about people and social dynamics. It is extremely clear and well written. It broadened my mind and challenged me to think critically about everything from the connector Paul Revere and his legendary “nighttime ride” to the decline of crime in New York City. Most importantly, Gladwell gives practical information, something that I think every (and I hate to use this phrase) “20-something” is hungry for.

 

The Difference Between Advertising and PR – A Simplified Version

July 25, 2014

By: Kate Schroeder @kschroeds7

PRI’ll admit it. Even as a strategic communications student, I’ve had difficulty explaining to people who ask about my major what the difference is between public relations and advertising. Going into my senior year as a strategic communications student, I have a good deal of knowledge of each industry. However, when asked this simple question I end up rambling on all the differences between PR and advertising pros,– usually leaving my non-journalist counterpart thoroughly confused and in need of an aspirin.

Looking back I wish someone had given me a simple, cut-and-dry answer to this not so simple question my freshman year at OU. I knew plenty about the world of news, but no one could seem to give me a simple answer to, “what the heck is this PR and advertising stuff I keep hearing about?”. Even though both careers are in the Scripps School of Journalism, transferring from news and information to strategic communication was like learning a new language. So for all you strategic communication newbies, let’s take it one step at a time and finally get this question straightened out!

“Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.”

Advertising

The main goal of advertising is to create ads and campaigns and place those in appropriate outlets to allow their message to build exposure. Advertisers want to impact as many people as many times as possible or specifically impact their target market depending on the product. Unlike public relations, advertising has complete creative control of the message it is promoting, but can be extremely expensive.

What advertising is trying to say: “Buy this product”.

Public Relations

Where advertising is paid media, public relations is earned media. A public relations specialist will take the brand and works to build the brand credibility. This is mostly done through media relations, which is working with reporters and editors to write positively about your client or brand. This can also be done through social media! Work done through public relations tends to have more credibility than advertisements, because the content was not paid for. This builds trust between your brand and the public

What public relations is trying to say: “This is important”.

What makes them similar?

The reason it is sometimes hard to explain how advertising and public relations differ is because they both share a main goal. Both help a company or product gain exposure in a positive way. Also, both avenues target a specific audience, also called a target audience with their message.

 

 

Interning Abroad: The Brand of Milk and Honey

July 24, 2014

By: Allison Rumsas @allisonrumsas

IMG_3338

I have spent the last five weeks of my summer in Israel interning at a PR and branding firm, BOMAH- The Brand of Milk and Honey, in Jerusalem. In Israel, internships aren’t very common and after meeting with my boss the first day, I quickly realized that my internship would be much different than the previous internship I had in Chicago.

I work directly with the Founder and Assistant Director of the firm and am given a huge amount of freedom and responsibility with the work that I do. I created my own title and job description the first day and rarely have to get approval before posting content on their social media accounts, sending pitch letters, or creating proposals and campaign ideas.

To say the least, this was a bit of a culture shock at the beginning.

Now that I’m close to finishing my fifth week interning, I can appreciate the benefits that come with interning in a foreign country and how much I have grown professionally from doing so. In my opinion, here are the three major benefits of interning abroad:

Disclaimer: There are many, many more benefits that can come from interning abroad, just ask anyone that’s traveled or worked in a foreign country, but for the sake of not making this post 12 pages long, I picked the three big ones!

IMMERSING YOURSELF IN THE CULTURE- When traveling to a foreign country it’s easy to feel like a tourist no matter how hard you try to hide it. When interning and working in a foreign country you learn much more than you would when just visiting different sites or meeting people at restaurants. You learn about the society’s working culture, the daily life of citizens, and what it’s actually like to live in that country – not just the planned routes for tourists to see.

RESUME BUILDER- We’d all be lying if we didn’t say that an important part of receiving an internship is being able to put it on your resume. An internship abroad not only allows you to add a location outside of the U.S. to your resume, but it also allows you to add numerous different skills that aren’t limited to your professional experience. Having to communicate with coworkers whose first language may not be English and learning the norms of your dream job in a city outside of the U.S. not only adds to your professional experience, but showcases your character as well.

KNOWLEDGE AND GROWTH- As I previously said, internships aren’t common in Israel, and I’m sure they aren’t as common in most of the world as they are in the U.S. Because of this I’ve learned more than I could have possibly imagined. I’ve learned how to use a storytelling strategy on social media, lead workshops, and pitch articles and campaigns to various clients. However, I’ve also learned more practical skills. I can effectively communicate my ideas and suggestions to non-native English speakers, stand up for the ideas that I truly believe in, and gain new perspectives from my co-workers that come from a completely different background.

As I said in my disclaimer, I could go on for days about the benefits of interning abroad. The knowledge, growth and experience you gain from just being abroad in general is multiplied when receiving an internship and immersing yourself fully in a different culture. If given the opportunity, accepting an internship abroad is a must!

 

 

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