Summer Reflection Series: Kelsey Miller

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.

Why a Personal Blog/Website looks Good on a Resume

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.

Blog Like a PRo: Best Blogging Practices for PR Students

By: Lindsey Zimmerman @lindseyzim716

TipsToWorkingRemotely_CoffeeAny PRSSA guest speaker or industry professional will tell you that good writing skills are absolutely crucial if you want to get ahead in PR. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to showcase your writing talents by creating your own blog. I think it’s safe to say that a professional, well-written, consistently updated blog could be the deciding factor between two equally qualified candidates for the same internship or job.

Many students may find the concept of blogging to be daunting. After all, you have to come up with interesting, relevant ideas; update your blog regularly; and promote your content without being annoying or clogging up your friends’ newsfeeds. However, with a little bit of blogging strategy, you’ll be writing your way to the job of your dreams in no time.

  • Update your blog regularly. If you have to set a reminder on your iPhone to remind you to post, do it. For busy college students and young professionals, once a week is a fairly reasonable goal. Pick a spot during the week where you have an hour or two of free time, whether it be a lazy Sunday afternoon or that awkward free period in-between classes. Make a habit out of sitting down and writing during your designated time and soon enough, it’ll be part of your routine.
  • Come up with unique, original content. As easy as it might be to reblog the latest from Thought Catalog, chances are your readers will want to see something fresh. Coming up with blog topics is easier said than done, but it’s often the hardest part of creating great content. Think about experiences in your everyday life that could be of interest to readers, comment on a recent event that’s been getting attention in the news, or put your own twist on one of the thousands of topics you can find with a quick Google search.
  • If your blog has a theme, stick with it. If you have a fashion blog, your audience will want to read about fashion, so it wouldn’t make sense to start posting about food or cars. You don’t necessarily have to have a theme for your blog, but it’s a good idea if you pick one that’s related to an area you’re particularly passionate about and in which you’d be interested in pursuing a career (using the above example, a fashion blog would be great for someone who wants to work in fashion PR). If you do choose a theme, keep it consistent in order to retain your target audience.
  • Engage with other bloggers. This is how the Golden Rule comes into play in the professional world. Reading, commenting on and sharing posts by your fellow bloggers can do wonders to increase readership of your own content.
  • Promote wisely. Nobody wants to see five tweets or Facebook updates in a row from the same person promoting his or her blog – doing so is a great way to get unfollowed or muted. There’s a fine line between promoting your content professionally and doing so obnoxiously. Look up the best times to post on your social platform of choice and use those to help you decide when to post links to your newest posts. Additionally, try not to post the same link too much – an initial update followed by an “ICYMI” post the next day is enough.

Follow these tips for a blog that will attract a large audience and portray you in a positive light to potential employers. Best of luck!

Blogging – Your Own Blank Online Canvas

BrickIf I had a quarter for every time a class, professor or professional stressed the importance of being a good writer I’d be rich enough to have a closet full of Louboutins and Louis Vittons. (A girl can dream, right?!) From press releases to ad copy to news writing to social media lingo, a successful PRofessional is one who can creatively communicate and articulate a message to their audience.

Blogging allows you to demonstrate your strengths and style as a writer. Whether you’re writing for a company or trying to develop your own personal brand, a blog can be your blank online canvas. Plus, it’s a great way to create clips for your portfolio. Whether your blogging about the best blueberry pie recipes or a new fortune 500 company’s philanthropy initiative, a blog can help you be seen as a thought leader. In our ever-changing technological world, brands and businesses are even implementing blogging into their social strategies. In fact, businesses that blog average 55% more website visitors than those who don’t.

Over the years, I’ve blogged a little, writing posts here and there for an organization’s or internship’s website, but this semester I’ve upped the aunty on blogging. In a professional setting I’ve been blogging for my marketing 4900 class taught by Nate Riggs. In an effort to recruit students to next semester’s class, my peers and I have been contributing to our blog – Ohio Marketing Students. From case studies to podcasts to how-to’s and more, our blog showcases the world of content marketing.

Through the purchased version of WordPress, we’ve been utilizing different analytical tools to help gain the best SEO. For example, instead of creating clever or cheeky blog titles, we create titles based on actual search terms. We’ve love for you to join our conversation by subscribing to our blog.

On a personal level, this semester I’ve also started by own blog – One Brick at a Time. In an effort to make the most of my senior year, (because YOSO – you’re only a senior once). I’m blogging about all of my bucket list experiences. From Larry’s Dawg House to karaoke at the Smiling Skull to stealing an Athens brick, each post will follow my journey as I complete signature OU/Athens things that I haven’t done before I leave this special place. Although it’s somewhat of a silly topic, my blog not only gives me a creative outlet, but it also is a way for me to showcase my writing skills.

You too can become a blogger! Choose a topic your passionate about and go!

-Sara Lowenstein is a senior studying public relations with specializations in sociology and community health. Check her out at @SaraLowenstein.

Blogging 101: What Should I Call Me?

blogTrying to figure out the theme of a blog, let alone the name could take hours, weeks or months if you’re really stuck. It’s like the epitome of writer’s block but worse because there’s not a definite focus. What did I do when it came to creating my blog? I thought about what I liked, what I am passionate about and what I am going to do with my life. The first two were easier, but the last one helped me with what I was going to write. My advice, follow these steps and you’ll have your own blog in no time!

Step 1: Pick a website. If you look online right now you’ll see that there are more blog websites than you can count on your hands. If you’re going to pick a website, think about what you’re going to use this personal blog for. I do write about other things than PR, but I find WordPress to be geared more towards professionals so that’s what I chose. If you’re not a WordPress fan, check out other blog websites such as Tumblr and Blogger.

Step 2: Pick a theme. This means color theme, blog theme and layout. On WordPress I chose the ‘Suburbia’ theme because I really liked the layout. As for my color theme, since I want to go into fashion and I traveled I chose black, white and teal. My background photo is a picture I took in Dublin. It’s somewhat blurry but it’s a photo of postcards laid out and it creates a great background. When you think about what the theme of your blog is remember to think about what you like, what you are passionate about and what you think you want to do with your life.

Step 3: The Name. The last step is to think of the name of your blog… the dreaded name that could take you hours. I chose ‘High Heels High Hopes.’ My cover photo is a picture of high heels with the name in italics. I love fashion and I do own very high heels and my hopes in life are much higher than that. When you’re thinking about the name for your blog, don’t be afraid to do a little research. Look up favorite quotes, past times, etc. Do whatever you need to, to figure it out and once you find what you’re looking for, you’ll feel that ‘aha!” moment.

These are the basic steps to making your own personal blog. I guarantee you step three will take you the longest amount of time. However, if you are still stuck check out some popular blogs to gain inspiration, my favorites are NYC PR Girls, Literally Darling, the Career Kid and the PR Woman. Just remember one last thing, it’s not just about the words written but the writer behind those words.

Happy blogging!

“Blogging is a great way to show your talents and interests to prospective employers, while adding an edge to your resume. If you blog consistently it shows your dedication, passions and creativity – all of which are key attributes employers look for in job candidates.”

-Lauren Conrad

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