Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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How to Connect With Someone You Don’t Know, but Want to

July 9, 2014

By: Sydney Gardner @sydneygardner

two tweets“It’s all about who you know.” It’s been said time and time again. To a PR student, connecting with professionals can often appear too intimidating to even try, but have no fear! Social media is a great way to connect with professionals in a less stressful environment! Taking a few easy steps will allow you to not only connect with someone you don’t’ know, but probably impress them along the way as well.

Know Their Work

Professionals may be flattered at you fan-girling over how pretty their office is, or who their clients are, but nothing shows your genuine interest better than knowing what they have done. Look up case studies, check out their blog and really read them! This not only gives you the chance to get a true idea of what type of work they do, but it also helps you see if this person is all you’ve cracked them up to be. By being able to discuss a person’s work with them, in and educated and informed manner, you show that you are truly interested in their career industry.

Interact With Them

So now that you have studied up on the person/company/brand that you love, it’s time to let them know. Social media is all about having real conversations so just remember to be yourself. I think one of the best ways to show them you like their work is to share their blog, tweets, etc. Networking on social media allows you to create a more casual environment to interact. Twitter is a great platform for starting conversations with professionals because you aren’t expected (or allowed) to write a lot. Just tell them, and your followers, why you like it. You may even get a reply or a follow from it! You can also comment on their work if you don’t want to share it. Be aware to not over do mentions and comments though! You want to show the person you admire what they do, not that you’re obsessed with them (even if you are).

Connect

Now that you’ve laid the foundation for connection, it’s time to take the plunge. I think connecting on LinkedIn is a great midway point between Twitter and email. I recommend connecting on LinkedIn within a few days of having a conversation on social media. Remember to always write an actual note on the invite, not the generic one given. Remind them of the conversation and let them know why you want to connect. Don’t be afraid of rejection. Most professionals will welcome connecting with an enthusiastic student with open arms.

Social media may not scream professionalism to some, but it can be great tool for you to reach out to people you want to connect with.  Social media has the unique ability to blend your personal life with your professional one, and that allows you to form genuine connections with people. When you interact with professionals on social media you are able to highlight you’re unique blend of personality and professionalism. So next time you are looking to network, turn to social media. You may be surprised at how successful you will be.

Social Media Trends: Ohio University

July 8, 2014

By: Morgan Peterson @mopeeeezy

Social media is a major aspect in everyone’s lifestyle nowadays, but for the average college student it seems like social media activity is on overdrive. From heavy observation, I noticed that during Spring Semester there were a few social media trends that appeared at Ohio University! Here are some that I noticed:

Let’s Take A Selfie

When Instagram came onto to the scene in 2010 taking “selfies” wasn’t exactly a craze. Now in 2014, it’s all anyone does. From Ellen Degeneres taking the infamous giant selfie at the Oscars, to the song by The Chainsmokers “#Selfie”, this craze has gone viral and in turn has taken over Ohio University’s campus. You can see selfies being infused everywhere. The big trend was heavily used during the Student Senate elections between the ACTION and One tickets. Both of these parties used the selfie campaign strategy by having voters take selfies to show support for the respective party. And thanks to Snapchat, you can catch people taking selfies everywhere! People don’t have any shame either! Have you ever caught someone taking a Snapchat selfie in class? Thought so!

Party, Party, Party Lets All Be Festive!

Oh fest season, how us Bobcats love thee! The infamous fest season starts mid March and ends towards the end of April. What’s better than fest season? Capturing the awesomeness that is fest season on camera. Ohio University has been known as a party school for years and now with all this new technology, people have begun to make epic YouTube videos of the fests.

Aside from the fest season YouTube videos, there are also the flood of instagram pictures that appear on your timeline the day of a fest. People like to document their entire “fest process.” If you’re like me (often stuck in the library), you’ll feel like you were at the fest just by looking at everyone’s photos (or feel left out).  Either way there’s no missing fest season even if you have to live vicariously through your friends.

Home is Where the Bobcats Live 

The Ohio University campus is probably one of the prettiest college campuses I’ve ever been to, and I’m not the only one who seems to think so. Walking through college green, you can’t help but want to capture the beautiful array of trees, the buildings, and of course Court Street in all of its glory. The city of Athens even has its own Instagram page (@athensohio) where they artistically capture all the beauty that is Athens.  What’s wrong with sharing with the world how much you love your campus? Nothing! 

Throwback is the New Black

tbt#TBT also known as Throwback Thursday is another social media trend. People love being nostalgic and reminiscing about old times whether it was 10 years ago or 10 days ago, people love looking back. We love the past so much that UPC even threw an event called TBT with UPC (which was a major success might I add). Whoever created #TBT probably never realized how big this “instagram holiday” would get – but now it’s a major phenomenon that is sweeping the nation and the Ohio University campus. 

#LetsTweetAboutIt

I don’t know if this is unique to Ohio Univeristy, but we have a LARGE amount of twitter accounts. Some people might not understand why, but I personally love it. I feel like if I ever have a problem I can just tweet Jenny Hall Jones or VP Lombardi and they will get back to me! With them having twitter it makes me feel like I can reach someone important in no time, and they often respond back! Twitter is used everywhere at OU. You can find out what’s going on in your campus organization, who the basketball team is playing, and if someone is secretly crushing on you all on your timeline. It’s awesome and I hope that never changes!

After long observation Ohio University is definitely on the cutting edge of social media trends, but what do you expect? We’re Bobcats!

Resources for Your Intern Search

July 7, 2014

By: Kate Schroeder @kschroeds7

Internship searching. One of the most dreaded college experiences, yet the most rewarding one. There are so many questions to ask and so many options to consider. What city do you want to work in? Will you take an unpaid internship? Do you want to intern for a semester or over the summer? Finding the perfect internship to enhance your career experience doesn’t have to seem so daunting. By using these resources you are sure to find the best internship opportunities for you!

Get online!

intern queen

Lauren Berger, Intern Queen

There are so many great resources right at your finger tips. Getting online and doing some simple searching is about the easiest way to find the internship you’re looking for. The first thing you must do is set up a Linkedin account if you haven’t already. This will not only make you more marketable, but it will be much easier to send out for internship applications! Linkedin is also a great place to search for internships. Connect with companies to find out if they have any offerings or just search your desired internship in the search bar.

Another great way to search for internships are on career websites specifically geared towards interns. My two favorite internship search websites are internqueen.com and internmatch.com. If the names themselves aren’t straightforward enough, the actual sites are! Intern Queen is great if you are looking to travel to some great cities for your internship. The site was founded by the Queen of finding the perfect internship herself, Lauren Berger. The girl had 15 internships during her college career! Internqueen.com is a great resource for ambitious internship seekers.

InternMatch is a great resource as well. It’s database of available internships is very diverse. Search internships by city, company or career interest. InternMatch is also great if you are looking for an internship in a particular city. You can narrow down your search to find exactly what you want. You can even create an online profile so that potential intern seekers can come to you for an offer.

Use your connections!

As Ohio University students we are so lucky to have a strong network of connections and great career building opportunities! Get out and go to career fairs and other programs offered to advance your experiences. Got an awesome speaker for one of your student organizations whose job interests you? Connect with them via social media and get their contact information. They could be great resources in taking the next step for applying for an internship at their company.

It is also important to remember to use connections you’ve already formed as well. I was able to obtain my internship last summer by asking an acquaintance, who is a nurse at Shriners Hospital for Children®, if their public relations department was taking interns. It turns out they did! Do not be afraid to ask. The worst thing they could say is no and that’s really not so bad!

Go to the source!

If have a dream company you want to work for one day, interning for them is a great way to start putting your name out there. Go directly to their company website and look for career and internship postings. Can’t find any? Look for any contact information and call until you find the right person to talk to about interning. If working for them is your dream you have to keep pursuing until you find yourself in that intern desk!

 

Facebook Metrics for New PRos

July 3, 2014

By: Melaina Lewis @melaina_lewis

While Facebook seems to be a dwindling marketing platform the ever-important question is why metrics matter. The answer, regarding any social media, is metric means everything. It’s a way to calculate return-on-investment, impressions, reach, frequency and clicks, all of the metrics mentioned before matter more than clicks. The value in Facebook metrics remains with impressions, reach and frequency.

Facebook Head of Measurement and Insights Brad Smallwood says, “Specifically, 99 percent of sales came from users who saw an ad, but did not interact with it.”

Smallwood also said campaigns that optimized ads for reach were 70 percent more effective at driving ROI. So, think about Facebook advertising. By paying a small chunk of change to increase reach of the ad, more consumers invest in the product. Smallwood reported campaigns optimized for frequency had a 40 percent increase in ROI, meaning if the ad appeared at optimized hours more consumers invest in the product. With that in mind here’s a crash course in measuring Facebook metrics.

First things first, know these three things:

  1. What you posted
  2. The number of impressions
  3. The percent feedback

Percent feedback= total number of comments + likes / the number of impressions.

Impressions can be misleading, but overall you want the percent feedback to increase. Because you want people to engage with your content, not just see it.

Thinking about what analytics to use? Facebook provides great insights.  Facebook measures page likes, post reach and engagement, while comparing it against weekly ratings and competitors.

reach

Keep in mind, impressions is the number of times your content was “rendered in the stream.” This means the content displayed on fan page walls, shown in newsfeeds, commented on or liked all counts in impressions. Three breakdowns of impressions include organic, paid and viral impressions. Reach measures the unique set of people that see it. In strategic planning, know your target demographic before designing Facebook content.

Organic Impressions: Number of times content was displayed in a Facebook user’s newsfeed or page.

Paid Impressions: Number of times your paid content was displayed.

Viral Impressions: Number of times content was associated with your page was displayed in a story published by a friend, which can include liking, commenting or sharing on your page, answering a question or responding to an event.

 

It’s important to grow organic impressions as it represents the number of engaged fans of your page.

Using A Cover Letter to Stand Out from the Crowd

July 2, 2014

By: Austin Ambrose @tex_ambrose7

Most applications ask you for three pieces: a resume, work samples and a cover letter. Each piece plays an essential part in the selection process. Resumes are important but also very basic. A resume just gives the people hiring a chance to ensure you are qualified for the position. Work samples show your skills. However, there are plenty of people capable of doing those same skills as you.

How are you supposed to stand out from the rest of the pool?

The answer is your cover letter. Cover letters give you a chance to explain how well you will fit well into the company or organization. There is no need to restate what you already have on your resume and work samples. The cover letter is your opportunity to show what you know about the company and how you fit into the goals and culture already established.

A cover letter does require more work than a resume or writing sample

You have to do your homework and learn all that you can about the company. By having specific information about the company, they will realize that you either know the company or you were willing to do the work to figure it out. Either one is good.

You want to show how your goals and values match those of the company

The cover letter is meant to show who you are as a person. Cover letters are also great to showcase information not on your resume, or expand on a topic that was mentioned in your resume.

Be specific

Tell them exactly why you are the person they should hire.  Give them specific examples of what you have accomplished and how that will translate into the position. Explain to them how your previous experiences have equipped you to take on this position. This is not a time to be modest, but make sure you don’t cross that line into bragging. Sound confident and informed. A good employer will see through any BS and know when you are not being sincere. Show some of your professional personality.

Let the cover letter do all the talking

Your resume and work samples can only do the small talk. You have to pull out the real talker if you want to get anywhere. Remember that cover letters should always be specific to the position you are applying for. It’s not a bad idea to have a template that you can adapt for each position. The idea of a universalcover letter does not exist. Take advantage of the opportunity the company gives you to prove you should be hired. At the very least, a strong cover letter will get you to the interview round. Lastly, Be yourself and take pride in your accomplishments.

The Art of Questioning

July 1, 2014

By: Kathleen Marincic @KathMarincic

?

An interview should be thought of as a two-way street; a back and forth of question and answer between both the interviewer and the interviewee. Playing an active role in not only answering questions, but also asking them shows a high level of engagement and interest in the position/company.

When thinking of questions to ask during an interview, here are some important guidelines to go by.

Prep

Before heading into an interview, you should have a list tucked somewhere in the notebook or portfolio you bring to the interview, of at least 20 questions to ask your interviewer. You will most likely not ask all of those questions, but its good to have them prepared in case some of your questions get answered during the interview process.

Don’t Waste Time

Do not even bother asking questions that can easily be found on the company’s website. You might think its a good question to ask in the interview and you may be having a hard time coming up with questions, but its a clear sign to the interviewer that you haven’t done your research and are wasting their time.

Show You’ve Done Your Homework

You want to make it known that you’ve done your homework. A strategic way of mentioning it would be to use that in order to frame one of your questions.

For example, “I noticed on your website there were blog posts written by former interns. Is that something that I can volunteer to do throughout my time with the company?”

intAsk About Interviewer’s Experience

People love to talk about themselves, so it is important to inquire about your interviewer’s experience. However, make sure you tailor your questions so that their answer will be applicable to your experience.

For example, don’t ask a person working at the agency, “What are some of your favorite accounts that work with you?

This question doesn’t really apply to your experience because most likely, you will not be working directly with the clients.

Now asking, “What makes you stay with XYZ company?” is a better question to ask because it has a personal element, yet it also speaks to the culture and successes of the company as well.

Reinforce Your Commitment

It’s important that the questions you ask the interviewer reinforce your dedication and ambition toward the position. Based on those questions, an interviewer will be able to tell that you are an employee who cares about the work you produce.

Here are a few examples of questions that reinforce your commitment:

“How will my performance and work be evaluated?”

“What will happen six months from now that will show that I have met your expectations?”

“What is the most important project/thing that I can accomplish within the first 60 days?”

There is no set number on the correct amount of questions to ask as it generally depends on the situation/interview structure. Sometimes interviews are structured so that there is a set amount of time at the end of an interview for questions and other times, questions are welcomed (not to mentioned, encouraged) throughout the entire interview.

What are some of your favorite questions to ask during an interview?

 

Making Time to Blog: Quality > Quantity

June 30, 2014 1 Comment

By: Kerry Tuttle @kerrtut

As PR majors, we’re writers and storytellers and lovers of personal branding.  However, making time to blog can be tough, especially because we already spend so much time writing for our classes, internships and student organizations.

Having a blog is not a requirement for getting a job or being a PR major. If you can’t see yourself regularly contributing content, just create a personal website that serves as a landing page for your online presence. Blogging should be something that’s enjoyable for you. It shouldn’t be a burden or feel like it’s another assignment you have to turn in.

That being said, here’s my advice for making time to blog:

  1. Blogging because you’re inspired to write something, is better than blogging because you haven’t gotten a post in for a while. I don’t keep myself on a set schedule. The content I produce is a result of me finding inspiration or feeling the need to write about a recent experience. Your posts will turn out better if you’re writing because you want to, rather than because you have to.
  2. Aim for at least one quality post per month. You’re not a professional blogger that’s expected to update us on your life every day. In my opinion, quality is greater than quantity. I’d rather read one well-written, thought-out post per month, than four average weekly ones.
  3. Keep a list of blog ideas. This will make it easy to write something when you’re feeling like you need to update your site. Also, start posts and save them as drafts. It’s easy to come back to them if you want to publish something.
  4. Try out new things. I know that everyone says that your blog is supposed to have a theme and I agree to a point. I say write about whatever you want to write about in order to find your voice. A personal blog is a perfect place to experiment with new writing styles and subjects. Every single post doesn’t need to be industry related. If you want to write about your latest travel adventure or an awesome recipe you tried, do it. Your personal blog should reflect you as a person and your interests.

Happy blogging, Bobkittens!

You can read Kerry’s personal blog, Keep Calm and Kerry On, here.

5 Pinterest Crafts for an OU Bobcat

June 27, 2014

There is nothing Ohio University Bobcats love more than showing pride in OUr school. Whether that means reminiscing on our memories at Ohio U or drooling over the campus’ historical and natural beauty; pride beams from Bobcats past, present and future. Here are some Pinterest inspired ideas to decorate dorm rooms and apartments alike:

1. The Beer Money Change Jar

50cPick your poison: Tuesday’s 50 cent draft night at Pawpurr’s, Wednesday’s Liquor Pitchers at Lucky’s or Brick Break at Red Brick 8-9 everyday. One thing every bar is unfortunately going to require is your money. This is a cute way to collect spare change and eventually treat yourself at your favorite hangout, also makes a great gift!

Materials Needed:

  • Any glass container
  • Beer/ Drink Sticker (optional)
  • Glass Paint Pen

 

2.The “Ode to Athens” Instagram Collage

instaAre you really an Ohio University student if you do not Instagram the beauty of Athens? A collage of all your favorite places around OU creates instant infatuation with the town that surrounds our beloved university. Composed of tons of screenshots this is a great way to decorate your wall with your friends’ and your own personal Instagrams.

Materials Needed:

  • As many printed Instagram pictures as desired
  • Sticky tack or Tape

 

3. The “hOUme is Where the Heart is” String Art

OUHAthens, Ohio is home to Ohio University founded in 1804 and over 20,000 OU students now call it hOUme. Athens quaint is a college town that is at the center of all things Ohio University. This craft is based on a popular pinterest craft found here and a tutorial can be found here. A perfect reminder of our Athens roots.

Materials Needed:

  • Masonite board
  • Nails (varying sizes)
  • Thread
  • Ribbon for frame (optional)

 

4.  The Pawprint of Memories

pawNothing creates more nostalgia than reminiscing on old memories and adventures at Ohio University. Looking through old pictures in the dorms, while at extra curricular activities or out on court street will always remind you of the good times. What better way to display all your good times than in a picture collage? A site to create a shaped collage can be found here.

Materials Needed:

  • Printed pictures
  • Poster Board
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Glue Glitter glue (optional)
  • Sticker letters (optional)

 

5. The Bobcat Crayon Art

crayonOhio pride is deeply seeded; show we bleed green by surrounding any Ohio University logo with our school colors. Based on another trendy Pinterest craft found here or look at a tutorial found here.

Materials Needed:

  • Canvas
  • Multiple shades of Green crayons or any desired colors
  • Hair dryer
  • Desired logo
  • Masking tape

It’s all Different when you switch to B2B

June 26, 2014

By: Kelsey Miller @Kelsey_65

Once getting into public relations, the initial thought of most starry-eyed freshmen and newbies to the industry is being able to connect a business to the general public. What people don’t think about is the market of business-to-business marketing, or B2B marketing. The B2B world may not seem as exciting to a hungry PR star in training, but the reality of the matter is that anyone and everyone that wants to work the agency life will most likely be taking on a B2B account at some point. Sure, you may not care how medical equipment ends up in your local ER, but it is a big industry that has a lot of money in it.

DMU = Decision Making Unit

The decision making unit (DMU) between consumers of the general public and clients of businesses are polar opposites. We will take Whirlpool for example. Selling stoves to consumers directly would make for a small decision making unit. In a family of four (two parents and two children), the DMU would be the two parents versus if Whirlpool was trying to sell to restaurant chains across the nation. The DMU of a business would be much more than two people, hence, making it much more complicated.

The approach of B2B marketing is much more personal in contrast to B2C. No need to spend millions on TV advertising, and no need to focus so much on social media. Although social media is a very important attribute in this type of marketing, it isn’t everything. Sales in this industry resort to a lot of personal interaction to make sales. Businesses in this market aren’t targeting millions of people, but more like dozens of businesses. The DMU may be smaller in B2C, but there are fewer clients to advertise to overall in B2B. The first thing to do is to market internally with a company with mono-e-mono customer relationship building. This gives the PR reps a good grasp on the client personally as well as better understanding client’s brand and what they are looking for.

The complexity of a product is yet another major differential factor. In many B2B transactions, the product being sold must go through many tests from a qualified expert to make sure products need any extra fine-tuning. With a lot of business, money and a reputation on the line, it is imperative that products are working perfectly before sent to clients. Most products in this market are parts to create machines – a machine that makes cars for example. If a machine isn’t working properly to manufacture cars, the business that builds the machines will be responsible for the cars that don’t function properly and will most likely lose business from other car manufacturers.

It’s not for everyone but…

As mentioned before, B2B may not seem like the glamorous account that people think about when talking public relations – but many PR gurus find themselves engulfed in the market.

How to Diversify your PR Experience

June 26, 2014

By: Gentry Bennett @Gen__AndTonic

Feel like your resume falls flat compared to your peers?

Don’t fret! There’s always time to diversify your PR experience. There is many ways to get experience in all aspects of PR while still pursuing your passions.

1. Try out every segment of PR

Public relations is needed in every sector of the world, from nonprofit to corporate. Trying your hand at every segment will diversify your PR experience, and allow you to investigate the direction of your career. Try looking in to internships with nonprofits, agencies, corporations, B2B firms and more.

2. Work for a digital company

NR mediaIn the ever-evolving world we live in, digital companies are extremely viable and many offer stellar internship programs. My current internship as a Content Marketing Specialist for NR Media Group has allowed me to move to Dallas, TX and pursue my daily interests without need to go to an office.

3. Travel

Traveling the world is a dream for many, and can easily become a reality. Pursuing a job or internship overseas will not only diversify your PR experience but also your life. Traveling is also an option with a digital internship with no office time needed.

4. Get experience in every skill

While you may find your niche in social media or blogging, be sure to gain experience in every skill needed in the PR world. Traditional communications are still needed and most jobs will require you to wear multiple hats, so having experience in every skill will diversify your PR experience and improve your resume.

5. Pursue your passions

Overall, it’s very important to pursue your passions. Employers will always appreciate a good resume and cover letter, but being able to show you are pursuing your passions is also quite vital. The nice thing about PR is you can fuel your passion for the public relations world in to your other passions. Love yoga? Do PR for your local studio. Passionate about nonprofits? See if your favorite charity has any openings in their communications department.

No matter which direction you end up going with your career, trying to diversify your PR experience will help you immensely.

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