Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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Networking Trips 101: The Do’s and Don’ts

April 1, 2015

By: Morgan Borer, @MorganBorer

Networking 2

This weekend, I traveled to the city that’s just as famous for its deep-dish pizza and hot dog stands, as it is for the Sears Tower: Chicago. I arrived at the Felix Hotel late Thursday evening with four other members of PRSSA, tired and weary-eyed from the exhaustive drive. I quickly unpacked my bags, located my planner and itinerary and hopped into bed. I was eager for a full day of networking with Scripps PRSSA.

I have traveled to Chicago a few times prior to this weekend, but I found myself unprepared for this networking trip. For example, while walking downtown during our lunch break on Friday, I frantically called my dad pleading him to deposit money into my account, I had seven dollars.

I was also shivering and attempting to warm my hands, to no avail. I also failed to bring a decent winter jacket and gloves. It’s almost April, so it must be warm in the city, right? Wrong. Fortunately, I was surrounded by people who really had it together and helped make this weekend the experience of a lifetime, despite my poor planning!

After reminiscing on the trip, I’ve conjured up a few “Do’s” and Dont’s” of Networking in the City.

Do dress for the weather

Check the local weather at least one week in advance, and begin planning appropriate outfits and outerwear. If you’re traveling to a city, like Chicago, with cooler temperatures, pack extra gloves, hats, scarves, socks, tights and a warm coat. Also, bring appropriate shoes! Flats are much more comfortable for getting in and out of cabs than heels. Stash your heels in your bag to change into at your destination.

Do your research

Know the companies and professionals that you are visiting before you walk in the door. Visit the company website, read recent press releases, and be well-informed about what they are doing in the news. Come prepared to each meeting with intelligent, thoughtful questions. Professionals will be impressed when you show that you’ve done your homework.

Do soak it in

You’re a student, so act like a sponge and soak everything in. Listen closely to what each professional has to say. Oftentimes, they offer valuable interview tips and career advice. In Chicago, several of the professionals spoke about their own personal journey after college, and how they ended up working in public relations. Pay attention to the company culture and the environment and watch how employees interact with one another.

Do follow up

Bring your resume and business card to each place you visit, and be sure to collect business cards before you leave. After the visit, send each professional a personalized follow-up email. Thank them for meeting with you and discussing the company. You can always add a compliment, or mention something specific you liked about the company. For example, when I followed up with Groupon, I mentioned how I loved the Tiki bar in the middle of the office. Additionally, reach out to each professional on Twitter or LinkedIn and send them a message. These connections will be important during job hunting season.

Don’t be on your phone

Warning: If you’re like me and have an emotional and physical attachment to your iPhone, this will be difficult. However, it’s extremely important to stash your phone away and pay attention. Professionals will notice if you seem distracted or uninterested in the presentation and their company. At one of the agencies I visited, an employee blatantly pulled out his phone multiple times throughout the presentation, giving me a negative impression of the agency. Be polite and engaged.

Don’t feel like you have to have your life planned out

A networking trip is an opportunity to sample a little bit of everything from the buffet. You don’t need to know exactly what you want, or where you want to work. If you are set on working for a non-profit, that’s excellent, but keep your options open. One professional I spoke with told me that in college he never wanted to work in advertising or marketing, and that’s exactly what he does today. Don’t be intimidated by the young, cool, seemingly know-it-all professionals. They started out right where you are.

Don’t forget to smile

Finally, don’t forget to smile! Make good eye contact and smile at everyone you meet. You will likely grow tired, hungry, or in desperate need of a 3 p.m. Starbucks run. However, making an effort to stay upbeat and positive will make each visit more enjoyable. Display genuine kindness and people will definitely notice.

Best Cities for PR Professionals

February 5, 2015

By: Autumn Cooper, @autumncooper5

When it comes to world of PR, deciding where to start your career could have a huge impact on your future happiness, success, and salary in the industry. PR is such an exciting field and it could take you anywhere in the world. I love to travel so for someone like me, I love knowing that the field I chose could help me live out another passion of mine.

During the past couple of months, I have spent many hours online searching for an internship. With a willingness to relocate to anywhere the job requires, I noticed it was very difficult to decide what city to begin applying to internships in. I realized that if I’m having this much trouble with just finding a summer internships, then I can only imagine the difficulties a graduating seniors must be facing.

One thing you’ll learn is that you don’t have to be in the U.S. to take advantage of a great PR job. Whether you’re working for a firm, business, or a non-profit, PR can take you anywhere in the world. In my opinion, everyone should experience living in a different city at least once. PR is ever changing, just like the rest of the world; go experience it.

So here are some of the top cities around the world for PR professionals to take their career (in no particular order).

1. New York, New York

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New York is an obvious choice because it is highly concentrated with PR jobs. New York will give you a chance to work with some of the best in the field, and work for some of the top agencies in the world. If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere!

2. Washington, D.C.

Being the U.S. capital, there is also a huge concentration of jobs in D.C., especially political PR jobs. Not only is there a large amount of jobs, but they also pay well. The average salary in D.C. is almost double the nation’s average salary.

3. Seattle, Washington

seattle-skyline

Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., and is absolutely beautiful. The PRSA chapter that started in Seattle is one of the 10 largest chapters in the country. Edelman, the world’s largest PR firm, has an office in Seattle, Washington.

4. Chicago, Illinois 

Chicago has a large amount of political, healthcare, and financial PR jobs. Whatever your interests are, Chicago most likely will have a job for you! Chicago is a great choice so you can still get the large city feel, but it can still feel like home, since it’s not as large as NYC.

5. London

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London has some of the world’s largest and best agencies (Ogilvy, Edelmen, and Weber Shandwick). International PR is becoming huge, and London is a great city to experience it in. I know after studying abroad in London this past summer that it is an amazing city to visit and live in. Definitely on the top of my list to live in after college!

6. Toronto, Ontario

Toronto has a number of opportunities, especially in public relations. Toronto has one of best strategic communications firms in the world, Fleishman-Hillard. Toronto isn’t just known for its job opportunities, but also its quality of life.

7. Boston, Massachusetts

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Boston has been ranked one of the top metropolitan areas for “PR Specialists.” This city will be a great city for PR professionals, no matter what stage of your career you’re in. It also thrives in culture, nightlife, and social interactions.

8. Sofia, Bulgaria

I love learning about PR opportunities internationally. There is an increasingly number of opportunities in PR that are happening outside of the United States. Sofia is home to M3 Communications Group, which won top PR Agency in Europe. I say you should book your flight and give it a try!

9. San Francisco/Los Angeles, California 

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Cities in California are known for their high pay. California gives you a wide variety of options for the type of PR job you could get. Whether you want a publicity job or work in healthcare, California has it!

10. Salt Lake City, Utah 

There is always something to do in Salt Lake City, with a variety of attractions like art galleries, professional sports, and festivals. These types of attractions will make your quality of life as a PR professional even better. To make things even better, Salt Lake City also has a large amount of PR/communication firms, non-profits, and corporations.

Introducing the Administration: Senior Director Kerry Tuttle

January 23, 2015

Have you ever wondered, “Who are these people that send me emails from the OUImPRession’s Gmail?” Well, here’s a chance for you to get to know those names, and not just what their position is in the firm! Kerry Tuttle is the first of the administration to offer herself as tribute. See what she is all about, you may realize you both never left seventh grade (in your music taste).

Kerry

1. Where are you from? 
I’m from Macedonia, a suburb 25 minutes south of Cleveland. I went to Nordonia High School and graduated in 2011​.
 
2. Why did you choose Ohio University?
I made the mistake of visiting Ohio University first and no other college even came close after that. I actually committed to a school to play volleyball, but my heart was always set on Ohio University so I retracted my commitment at the last minute and came to Athens. Best decision I’ve ever made.
 
3. How did you end up at ImPRessions?
I joined ImPRessions the winter quarter of my freshman year after realizing getting involved with major-related activities would probably be a good idea. I honestly can’t remember how I learned about it, but I do know that I had so much fun starting out on the Scripps account. It’s been my favorite student organization all four years.
 
4. What are your guilty pleasures?
If you put a bag of chips and a jar of salsa in front of me, both of them would be gone in less than ten minutes. I also have a deep love for early 2000’s rap and hip hop, so I am queen of all the middle school throwbacks. I’ve basically been listening to the same music since seventh grade.
 
5. Where do you hope to be in five years?
In five years, I hope to be in Chicago doing meaningful work at a company I love (and that pays for my MBA). I hope that I’m able to travel frequently, laugh often and pay all my bills on time.
Be on the lookout to learn more about the other administration members! 

Summer Reflection Series: Annie Beard

September 30, 2014 1 Comment

By: Annie Beard @annie_beard

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

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

Contiki

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

from the opera

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

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

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

chicity

Adjusting to the Windy City

June 12, 2013 1 Comment

ChicagoI have always pictured my life out of college in a big city with a modern apartment and glamorous job. After work I could grab dinner with my fellow colleagues at a swanky restaurant and on the weekends I would have endless streets to explore and shop. Chicago has always been my city of choice. When I decided to start looking for internships for this summer, Chicago was my first option. Luckily, and to my surprise, I was able to get connected with a non-profit organization and land a social media internship.

Once the excitement of my new summer plans faded, the reality of living in a new city began to sink in. How would I know where to go? How would I get around? What would I do in my spare time? I grew up in a suburb of Detroit that was about 15 minutes from Ann Arbor and was not used to having to walk places, let alone use public transportation. As my moving date to the city grew closer, I became more anxious and nervous about how I would adjust to living in a new city alone.

I made arrangements to live with my grandparents, who live in a suburb about 20 minutes from downtown Chicago when there isn’t any traffic. However, driving in and out of the city during rush hour could potentially take hours, so I decided public transportation would be the best option. My sister has lived in the city for the past seven years and made me a schedule of trains I could take and a map from the station to my building. After practicing the route before my first day and eventually commuting multiple times by train, I am more confident in getting around the area where I work.

I have now officially completed a full week of my internship and am still learning my way around downtown Chicago. I now know the difference between the Metra and CTA, I can hail my own cab and have mastered speed walking.

Getting adjusted to a new city can be intimidating at first, especially when moving from a suburb to a big city. Here are a few tips that can help when getting adjusted into a new city.

Plan ahead. This can apply to everything, whether it is practicing your transportation paths days before you start or even just getting to train or bus stops before they are scheduled to arrive.

Explore. Spend time just walking up and down new streets and going into stores or restaurants. The more familiar you are with an area the more comfortable and at home you will feel. This also helps to meet new people and learn of new places to go.

Social media. As PR stars we are used to depending on social media to post about what we are doing and getting responses, but in this case follow Twitter accounts where you’ll learn about events going on in the city. It’s easy to do the “touristy” things, but to really embrace the city culture, find out what people who live in the city are doing.

-Allison Rumsas is a junior strategic communications major with a Spanish minor. Follow her adventures through the Windy City at @allisonrumsas.

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