Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Candy or Pills – Can You Tell the Difference?

November 11, 2013

ImPRessions Cardinal Health Account Implements HallOUween Campaign

Bongs, lines and cans – all common forms of drug distribution that college students are familiar with. But what about small orange bottles? You know the kind; they may sit in your parents’ medicine cabinet and can easily be picked up at any local pharmacy. Most people don’t realize that legal prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as illegal narcotics. This is the issue that the ImPRessions Cardinal Health account deals with here on campus. We inform the student population on the dangers of abusing prescription drugs.

page-0A few weeks before Halloween, the Cardinal account was having its weekly meeting when the subject of new poster designs came up. The team started to brainstorm some really great ideas for future campaigns. This brainstorm made me think of something called a “pill party”. I had heard of these parties in the media, where teens raid their parents’, grandparents’ or friends’ medicine cabinets and dump the contents of the containers they find into a bowl at the beginning of the party. The attendees then proceed to grab handfuls from the bowl and pop the pills like candy. Obviously this is a perfect example of prescription drug abuse and it inspired my concept for the Cardinal Halloween campaign.

Once I proposed the idea of comparing the consumption of pills to candy in the spirit of Halloween, the team loved it! We did an eye-popping search of images of pills and candy. This search made us realize that there are so many types of pills that look like candy and make it easier for teens to casually take them. We hoped that by placing a picture of colorful candy next to a picture of colorful pills, it would help students to realize that prescription pills can easily be mistaken for something much more innocent.

We emblazoned half the posters with the tag line “Can You Tell the Difference?” and half with “Trip or Treat”. I was so honored to have the opportunity to design these posters and put an image to my idea. It was such a thrill to see one hanging in the CVS window.

In the end, this spur of the moment campaign was very successful. The posters helped grow awareness of prescription drug abuse during the famous Ohio University Halloween block party during the week of October 20-26. These fliers were distributed to all 42 residence halls, the Campus Care pharmacy, the local CVS pharmacy and also placed in the most heavily trafficked academic buildings on campus. Cardinal Health liked the campaign so much that next year we will be consulting with universities all over Ohio to help them implement a similar campaign.

-Sarah Rachul is a sophomore studying strategic communication with specializations in sports management and visual communication. Follow her at @Sarah_PD_Rachul.

How ImPRessions Supplemented my PRSSA Experience

August 12, 2013

Event planning, social media, InDesign, internal communications and blogging are all PR-related activities that I heard a lot about during my first year in PRSSA, but didn’t experience first-hand until I was a sophomore, actively involved with ImPRessions.Don’t get me wrong – PRSSA is a fantastic organization and I’ve learned so much through my involvement with it. However, ImPRessions really helped to supplement my experience as a young PR professional by allowing me to practice everything that I’d been preached about during my weekly PRSSA meetings.

As a sophomore at Ohio University I was placed as an account associate on the ImPRessions Internal Account. ImPRessions, as we all know, is a student-run public relations firm at OU that handles a wide variety of clientele and boasts 100+ members. With so many different accounts and clients, internal communication within ImPRessions could become complicated at times, and it was my job to help keep the organization organized.

The ImPRessions internal account handled the ImPRessions Twitter and Blog during the year. In order to let us all equally participate, our wonderful account executives assigned the duty of tweeting to each different associate in two-week intervals, and also assigned monthly blog posts. Although these activities were not strenuous, they really taught us to handle responsibility when it comes to running social media sites and relying on each other to always complete the job. When one person in an organization fails, it reflects poorly on the organization as a whole and conflicts with overall set goals.

Two of the most rewarding activities the Internal Account planned were the “PR for the Holidays: The Gift of Branding and Internships” all-firm event and the ImPRessions end of the year banquet. Both events brought the entire firm together to form new internal relationships and connect on a 935471_10151558065471195_1016741037_nprofessional level. Seeing weeks of planning come together in such a successful way was the best feeling, and we received many compliments from advisors and peers alike for our efforts. In addition, these two events offered the opportunity to see how the separate accounts operated throughout the year to benefit the organization and its holistic reputation.

Beginning my junior year I will be working on the Cardinal Health ImPRessions account as an assistant account executive and I am so excited about this opportunity! Working as an assistant account executive will place me in a higher role of responsibility within the ImPRessions organization, but on the other end of the spectrum. Instead of organizing the firm internally, I will be responsible for completing quality work for one of our most prominent clients. This opportunity is often unheard of in a college environment, but ImPRessions has made it possible.

For a public relations student at Ohio University, PRSSA is essential, but ImPRessions is essentially supplemental. One can only absorb so much from learning; the rest must come from doing. By participating in ImPRessions, students place themselves in an advantageous position when it comes to resume material and active college experience. Through PRSSA and ImPRessions, PR pros are born.

-Briagenn Adams is a junior studying strategic communications with a minor in French. Check her out at @Briagenn.

Why Internships Matter

August 8, 2011

By: Colleen Veeley
Account Supervisor, Cardinal Health and Up ‘Til Dawn accounts

This summer, I’m working as a public relations intern at Cardinal Health, a fortune 19 healthcare services company in Dublin, Ohio. Coming into the internship, I had little corporate public relations experience and zero healthcare exposure. I had the pre-internship jitters, but I feel at home already and am not ready for the summer to be over!

I’ve learned essential skills that simply cannot be taught in the classroom. I’ve observed how my manager responds to issues. She prepares herself when she knows a reporter might be calling to request a statement, analyzes all the possible questions and makes sure she is ready with the answers. I have been given a large responsibility to oversee issues, track media hits, and compile information, which is then sent to the top company executives.

I love that I am not in a “typical” intern role. I don’t get anyone coffee, copy papers, etc. I write press releases, pitch the releases, and compile coverage reports. I know that my work is meaningful and something that all public relations professionals do as part of their job description.

My favorite project this summer has been leading efforts for the Cardinal Health College Relations Facebook page. I’ve surveyed this summer’s intern class at Cardinal Health and held a focus group to try to improve the page in effective ways. I’m currently compiling a summary of the results so next steps can be established.

I’ve also learned so much about social media. Cardinal Health uses a system called CoTweet, which some of you have probably heard of. It allows Cardinal Health to see all company Twitter pages from one site, place specific people “On deck” so they will be notified when the company has been Tweeted, and plan out times and dates of future tweets. I’ve developed my skills as a leader by overseeing intern efforts of making a “Day in the life of an intern” video and several testimonial videos, which will be released on the college relations page shortly.

There are over 70 interns at the Dublin headquarters and I have met and know almost every single one of them. Every level of leaders within the company has expressed the program’s importance. All interns join a committee at the beginning of the summer. I am on the social committee and we have a social event once a week to get together outside of work. Some interns plan tours to Cardinal Health’s distribution centers, some connect with company executives and set up a speaker series where all interns are free to ask questions and advice.

It is essential to have an internship before entering the work place full time (scary!!). I would not trade this experience for anything and I recommend that every Scripps J School student go above the 200 hour internship requirement. It will help you eliminate what you don’t want to do and give you a good idea on a field where you know you could be happy and successful.

I hope everyone has an amazing summer and I can’t wait to get back to Athens! Go Bobcats!

Cardinal Health finishes up a successful year

June 6, 2011

By Jenny Chufar
Associate, ImPRessions account

The Cardinal Health account went to visit the client headquarters in Columbus last October to present their public relations plan for the year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Over the course of this past school year, Grace Naugle and Jackie Bavaro worked hard with their team members promoting their ImPRessions client Cardinal Health.  One big project the team took on was the Generation Rx campaign, which promotes prescription drug abuse prevention.

Bavaro said the biggest challenge the team faced was the time constraints.  During fall quarter the team did a lot of brainstorming while prepping the ground for the basis of their campaign.  The Generation Rx campaign, which they titled, “Dose of Reality”, was then implemented during this past winter quarter.

Throughout spring quarter, the team was busy at work as they took on a new project that was centered on social media for Cardinal Health.  While doing the social media project for Cardinal Health, the team was also analyzing their “Dose of Reality” campaign results and preparing a trip to the Cardinal Health headquarters, in Columbus, to present to the client.

Although it has been a hectic year, Bavaro said that she was really proud of her team for, “Pulling together and tackling ideas.”

Naugle agrees, saying, “I’ve enjoyed the dedication of each team member on the account the most. They are extremely hard workers and smart people.”

Overall, both Bavaro and Naugle enjoyed working for Cardinal Health. Bavaro appreciated the creativity Cardinal Health gave to them. “I really liked how they gave us a lot of freedom,” she said.

Naugle appreciated the experience she gained in working for Cardinal Health. “They are teaching us the reality of working in the fast-paced public relations field and hold us accountable for our deadlines. Overall, it’s been a wonderful learning experience,” Naugle said.

As one year ends another begins, and for that reason, Bavaro and Naugle would like to congratulate the new executive board especially Caroline Allen and Sienna Tomko, who will be taking over the Cardinal Health account next year.

Bavaro said, “Don’t be afraid to have crazy ideas and think outside of the box.  Just go with it.”

Update: Cardinal Health account spreads awareness about prescription drug abuse

February 7, 2011 1 Comment

By Jenny Chufar                                                                                                                                                                               Associate, ImPRessions account

The Cardinal Health ImPRessions account recently gained media attention for its GenerationRx campaign.  Startling facts about drug abuse and information about the GenerationRx campaign were featured in The Post on Jan. 25.

The campaign is an outreach program run by Cardinal Health, and its mission is to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug use.  The program has come to Ohio University to help spread the knowledge to college students, who make up a large demographic of this rising problem.

Grace Naugle, Account executive of the account, said the Generation Rx campaign is set to go public during the week of Feb. 20 to March 4. As of now, the account is busy working  on making pamphlets, creating posters and participating in a variety of other activities to make the GenerationRx campaign a success at Ohio University.

ImPRessions would like to congratulate the Cardinal Health account team for being featured in The Post, and for all of the time and hard work they have been putting into the GenerationRx campaign.

Building an empire

August 19, 2010

By R. Devin Hughes
CEO

Recently, the SVP of professional and government relations at Cardinal Health spoke to the intern class, giving background about her job and providing helpful advice. One thing she said that really stuck out to me was, “you have a responsibility to help the people below you get promoted.” Looking at how ImPRessions has developed in my time with the firm, I couldn’t agree more.

As an account executive or supervisor, you might be tempted to think “success” means that your account produced strong results for your client this year. While that is great, I think you are missing the higher-level goal: contribute to the long-term growth and stellar reputation of the firm. ImPRessions might be on your résumé for a long time, and therefore, you will always want the firm to be in high regard with those who are familiar with its activities.

Of course, at that point, you are no longer with the firm, meaning you can’t directly impact the quality of its work. The only way you are able to play a part in ImPRessions’ future is by fostering leadership in its present. As an account executive or PRSSA mentor, I went to great lengths to help develop the raw talent I saw. Today, many of my former associates/mentees make up the ImPRessions or PRSSA executive boards, and I know that they will do a good job because I’ve had the privilege of watching them develop into PR superstars (to borrow a phrase from former OU professor and always leader-developer Michelle Honald).

So how do I recommend you do this? Everyone has their own styles, but I’ve compiled a list of tips that I’ve found to be helpful over the years:

Identify passion, not pedigree

Seriously. The freshman who knows nothing about PR but wants to be involved with ImPRessions is much more valuable than the junior with three internships who just devotes what little spare time he/she has to your account. The junior may be tactically stronger, but the freshman is the one who will want to make the firm better, especially if you are there to help him/her stay enthused and develop. You can teach PR; you can’t teach passion.

Get them involved

Once you’ve identified that hunger, you need to feed it. Give them more responsibilities. Ask them what they want to learn or if they have ideas for the account, then let them run with it. Most of our clients are open to new ideas if we’re able to execute them, so take advantage of that and go nuts. These people want to be involved, and if you’re able to get them excited about what they’re doing and feeling as if they’re getting a lot done, you’ve basically reeled them in. Look for the forward leaning in meetings, the fire in their eyes or the more subtle “ImPRessions 4 Life” tattooed on their arms.

Be available and approachable

Seems like a no-brainer, but I really mean go out of your way to be there. Would my ideal midnights involve phone calls from hysterical associates who are giving up on PR, the world and men? Probably not, but I take them anyway because I feel a responsibility to do so. You aren’t just their boss, you’re their mentor. Embrace it. I humorously added the “men” part, but it does touch on the fact that I think you should be there for them for any life-related ordeal, not just PR-related. Happy associates are helpful associates.

Praise

I admit I have to make a concerted effort on this one, as I am notoriously demanding and have high expectations, so sometimes I take it for granted when those expectations are met because I feel they should have been met. But you need them to feel like their great work has been noticed, and more importantly, you need to instill confidence. If Nick thinks he sucks at PR, I really doubt he’ll apply for a leadership position with the firm. To apply, he needs to believe he can do it, and to believe, he needs you to tell him he can do it. Often, I’ll straight up ask the person, “Are you thinking of applying for account executive? I think you should.” It meant a lot to me when I heard it, and I bet it will mean a lot to anyone else.

Tell the world

Involved as I’d like to think I am, I have to admit I probably won’t personally get to know every member of the firm, so how am I supposed to know where the top talent is? You have to tell me. You have to tell everyone. That person will have a harder time getting promoted if nobody has heard of him/her. If you aren’t making sure the right people know how great a person’s work/enthusiasm is, you are really doing that person a disservice.

That’s how I do it. If you have other suggestions, I’d love to hear them. Any way you do it, the goal is universal: build an empire. The firm needs to be outstanding this year, five years from now and even fifteen years from now when I’m in my thirties and probably dead. ImPRessions 4 Life.

ImPRessions to make impact in 2010-2011

June 25, 2010

By R. Devin Hughes
CEO

Ohio University students don’t know what is about to hit them next year (though hopefully, with our PR efforts, they will).

Last year, ImPRessions took part in its largest event ever, collaborating with the Black Student Council Programming Board, University Programs Council and Backdrop Magazine to put on the first MAYDAY event, a large outdoor concert featuring artists Clipse and Consequence. It was estimated that more than 800 people  attended. The success of this event opened our eyes to our potential to be a part of major campus and community events, an initiative we plan to continue next year.

The year has not even begun, and already some big ideas are flowing (I have to stress that these are ideas, so don’t yell at me if they are scrapped). Another MAYDAY (Backdrop). A drag show (ButtOut Ohio). A putt-putt tournament in the library (University Libraries). A dance marathon (Up til Dawn). Ohio University students will not be able to avoid the ImPRessions ImPAct next year; we will have our hands in too many fun things.

That’s not the only impact we will make, however. Let’s not forget the pro bono work we do. Raising awareness to the dangers of smoking (ButtOut Ohio). Fighting prescription medication abuse (Cardinal Health). Giving puppies a home (Athens Humane Society). Helping African children receive an education (Empower).

All told, there has never been a better time to get involved with ImPRessions, because our impact will be felt among Athens-wide, nationwide and worldwide audiences next year. By joining our firm, you won’t just be benefitting themselves from valuable PR experience—they’ll be making a difference.

Presenting the new ImPRessions website!

June 20, 2010

by R. Devin Hughes, CEO

I am delighted to write the introductory post for the new ImPRessions website, moved over from Blogger to WordPress. Aside from needing to fill out a few biographical segments in our Leadership section, the site is complete and ready for public viewing. As this is a new venture, we would really appreciate any comments and/or suggestions you have for the page; please feel encouraged to comment on this post or e-mail us at ouimpressions@gmail.com. This website needs to accurately portray the excellence of our firm, so we welcome all constructive feedback that will help us to do so.

The creation of this new site dates back to last year, when I asked the ImPRessions account to analyze the websites of top-notch PR firms around the country to see what was traditionally done in the field. The team came through, presenting a list of suggestions for the design of a new ImPRessions website as well as producing some sample copy for the pages. Because of the various projects we were involved in,  I pushed the potential creation of the new website to the future, mentally storing the ideas the account members had suggested. Now, with the free time that summer offers, the ideas have become a reality.

Why model ourselves after these top PR firms? Because we are a top PR firm. The firm-wide oversight I had last year as assistant director showed me as much. We have a truly exceptional group of students with extraordinary amounts of enthusiasm, and time after time I heard reviews from clients who were extremely pleased with the work we had done for them. Stepping into the role of CEO, I realized it was time for the entire firm to own its potential.

This new website is a major step in a new way of branding ImPRessions. We are more than just a “student PR firm.” We are a credible, viable and exemplary public relations service. We provide tangible value to any client we take on. Looking at ourselves as just a “student PR firm” only creates psychological limitations within ourselves.

My vision for this firm is to move forward to a place where we are not just a great student PR firm; we are a great PR firm that happens to be employed of students. Re-branding ourselves as such removes the perceived qualitative and geographical limitations of our work; we can, in fact, go anywhere and do anything. This vision began to become reality in the past few months, when we chose to move from nine clients to 13, a 30 percent increase in client base.

We added a company that is #17 on the Fortune 500 (Cardinal Health), two clients that impact, oh, every student at Ohio University (University Libraries and the OHIO Performing Arts Series) and partnered with a firm that is a global leader in public relations (Fleishman-Hillard). Oh, and our work is so highly regarded that we added a client that is only the greatest journalism school on the planet (E.W. Scripps School of Journalism).

As ImPRessions steamrolls forward, we refuse to grow complacent with our already high-quality work or set any limitations on ourselves.  It is an exciting time to be involved with this firm and I cannot wait for next year to begin.

Alas, with only week two of summer vacation set to begin, we will have to settle for a new website for now. There will be blog posts throughout the summer so I encourage you to subscribe to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter to stay up-to-date. Again, we would really appreciate any thoughts on the new page in the comments section, or e-mail us if you are shy.

With the introductory post complete, and by the powers vested in me by the Public Relations Student Society of America, I hereby pronounce this website open and operational. Happy visiting!

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