Ohio University ImPRessions

Ohio University ImPRessions

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There’s No ‘I’ in Team

January 30, 2015

By: Allison Evans, @Allison_Evans

Teamwork and team spirit

We all love that public relations can take us down many avenues, and that no two resumes are the same. However, no matter which workplace you choose, you will have to be a team player. I’ve had so many valuable experiences to teach me what that means, and how far you may need to go for the people we respect and care for.

Team Client

The internship I took on as a freshman taught me that clients value humility and service in their representatives. I advocated for people with developmental disabilities, in the form of marketing their capabilities to local businesses, with the hope of creating employment opportunities for them. In other words, their finances and employment depended on our office. I can’t think of a moment where I felt more accomplished than when my clients opened their checks at the end of the week. I was a part of their team. They needed me, so I needed to do my job for them.

Team Community

One of the largest parts of our job as PR professionals is to inform the community. Working for the Department of Transportation taught me that people really do depend on the information they receive. In this case, knowing the conditions of the roadways meant their safety was dependent on that information. This extended to impaired driving workshops at the local colleges, helping students stay safe.

Our Team

There is no accomplishment within public relations that comes from a single person. With every project produced, there is a group of people that came together to produce it, and that is where the value lies within our profession. My internship with Global Prairie taught how to be a respected member of the internal team by having me cover for someone who was sick, stay late to meet a deadline, answer the phone when I was off and to do anything I could to make life easier for my teammates.

My resume may be full, and the words on it reflect my accomplishments. I am not blind, however, to the fact that these successes are not just my own, and that I couldn’t begin to tackle communication without the help of so many. Where would I be without my teams? I can hardly imagine.

Finding the perfect pitch: social media lessons from an a Capella perspective

December 1, 2014

By: Catrina Lang @trinalang13

Becoming a member of The Tempo Tantrums, an all female a Capella group here on campus has been one of the best and most unique experiences I’ve had in college so far. Making pop music come to life with nothing but our voices is a challenging but rewarding task. Throughout my first two years with the group, I’ve learned a lot about different musical elements such as tone, pitch and harmony. What I’ve come to realize is that many of the same tools that we use to create beautiful music can also be applied to craft and implement successful social media strategies.


  1. Tone. In music, a tone can be described as a “steady, periodic sound”. Before creating a successful social media strategy, you must first figure out your brand’s tone on social media. This tone should be steady and consistent so as not to confuse the audience or potential customer. The tone should be a positive representation of your brand. Brands can consistently choose to adopt a humorous, professional, fun, educational, or various other types tone throughout all of their social media outlets. The key is keeping it consistent.
  1. Harmony. Constructing harmonies is one of the most important things to focus on when singing a Capella music. Each voice part is singing different notes, but they all come together to form chords that sound like a cohesive whole. This is important to keep in mind when using multiple different social media platforms as well. Even though each platform presents unique opportunities (such as tweets versus Instagram photos), it’s important to keep in mind the consistency of the brand that you are trying to portray. As long as you keep in mind the goal of the brand when utilizing different platforms, you can successfully use each different platform to get across the same brand message for your client.


  1. Audience. One of the most important elements of performing is keeping in mind your audience, and how to best connect with them in different situations. When my group is presented with a potential gig, we have to decide which songs to sing, what to wear, etc. to best relate with the client, while still keeping our own personal brand in mind. For example, we will choose different songs, attire, and introductions for a gig at a nursing home than we would for a gig at a coffee shop. Keeping in mind your target audience when you launch a new social media outlet or campaign will help you connect with your audience on a deeper level overall. Some questions to ask yourself could include:
    1. What kind of perceptions does my audience already have of the brand?
    2. What are some aspects of the brand that would best appeal to a particular audience?
    3. How does the targeted audience currently use social media?

Gathering the data and information to answer these questions will help you create the best social media strategy that keeps both your targeted audience and your own personal brand in mind.

When creating a social media strategy, keep in mind the tone, audience and harmony of your social media outlets – in the end it will greatly increase the impact of your brand. I have learned by performing with The Tempo Tantrums that giving your audience what they want while maintaining your personal image and brand with help you hit all of the right notes.


Why Ebola is the Perfect PR Client

October 23, 2014 1 Comment

By: Meredith Broadwater @Mere_Broadwater

ebolaWe all know Ebola as the possibly fatal disease that everyone’s afraid of getting, but not a lot of people know what it really is – however they’re paying attention to it.

Public relations can change the way people identify one product, or disease in this case, compared to another. Ebola is one-of-a-kind, so it’s the most ideal client for a public relations professional.

  1. Ebola is already internationally known. Part of the job is already done! Everyone knows the client, but the problem is that it’s a negative image because it’s a disease (obviously). However, not a lot of people know what it actually is. When you tell people something about Ebola, they’ll pay attention because they don’t want to die.

    A little Ebola lesson: According to the CDC there are only three confirmed cases in the United States, all in Texas.

  2. People are scared, so they’ll pay attention to messages about it. According to a New York Post article, airline sales are going down because people don’t want to risk getting infected by another passenger. People have been canceling flights, selling their airline stocks and taking other steps to avoid flying.
    People continue to take drastic measures to avoid getting a disease that three out of 319 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with.

    Ebola is only spread through body fluids and blood, it’s not airborne, but the virus can live on objects (like doorknobs and counters) for up to a few hours.

  3. Ebola isn’t selfish. It understands that you have other things to do. It’s selfish because it’s a virus and wants to contaminate everything it comes in contact with, besides your job as a PR professional. It understands that there are other clients to deal with and classes to study for because when you come back to it, it’s still there. Ebola will always be there for you.
  4. Your market is defined for you: every human being. Part of public relations is finding your target market, but with Ebola, anyone can get it. The CDC has no evidence that dogs or cats can get the virus, so your pets are safe. Your message will be broad, but that makes it more exciting!
  5. Ebola has a story to tell. It may not have traveled through seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, or through the sea of swirly twirly gumdrops, but it came from somewhere. 

Summer Reflection Series: Erica Stonehill

October 8, 2014

3 Lessons, 2 Jobs, 1 Summer: Where PR, Panera, and Aeropostale overlap

By: Erica Stonehill @estonehill13


This summer I took on the exhausting task of working two jobs. I’ve been a tried and true Panera Bread employee for going on three years, and recently landed a position at the local Aeropostale. After learning more about public relations in the past year, I’ve noticed on more than one occasion how my current jobs intermix with my future career.

  • The customer is always right – As frustrating as it may be sometimes, you are employed to make others happy. That is your job. If a customer requests no broccoli in her broccoli cheddar soup, you will stand there and fish every green tree out of her bowl because you are paid to please.

    Very rarely does a customer/client leave unsatisfied and only think poorly of the one person they dealt with – the blame falls back on the entire company. Sally Smith didn’t give me loads of broccoli in my soup, Panera Bread did. You are the face of an entire company, and your mistakes become everyone’s mistakes. Please the client at all costs, because one bad review can outshine ten outstanding ones.

  • You will never know it all – My first few shifts at Aeropostale were nerve racking. I was so used to being a veteran at Panera that it was terrifying to be the new kid again. Retail and fast food are two totally different ball games, and I realized that immediately. I had to adapt to the different environment quickly and understand both types of customers that I was working for.

    When working in the food industry you’re expected to greet the customer and be friendly, but quick. Get them their food and move on. Retail requires a conversation, the building of trust and ability to relate to the customer. The same goes for PR. Some clients will want to build a relationship with you and others will want the job done quickly and clean. You have to be able to adapt and read your client. Everyone is different, and it’s your job to please them all.

  • Loyalty goes a long way – I’ve had the pleasure of gaining “regulars” at Panera, this summer. I opened almost five days a week, and as a result, I see a lot of the same customers on a weekly (or daily) basis. One particular lady came in every morning, and instead of bringing her Panera card, has me look it up by her phone number. After a few visits I had her number memorized, and now when she comes in, she knows I already have her squared away. Last week I forgot her coffee when she came through the drive thru, but because I had built a sense of loyalty with her she was understanding and didn’t get upset when she had to come back for it.

    Treat each client as an individual rather than a task, and they will notice. In the event that you do make a mistake, they’re more likely to understand and excuse it. There are plenty of other companies they could go to. Remind them every day why yours is the better choice and it will not only keep your relationship strong, but it will bring in new clients as well.

Even though I didn’t have an internship this summer like many of my fellow classmates, I still tried to gain knowledge and experiences from my two jobs. I was surprised by how much they connected back to public relations. Doing whatever to please the client, giving yourself room to grow in everything you do, and building loyalty with your clients are three important parts of PR, as well as retail or fast food. My summer wasn’t all glitz and glamour in a big city, but I learned a few things that I will be able to use in the future.




Do’s and Don’ts of Media Relations

June 6, 2014 4 Comments

By: Becca Zook @BeccaZook

phoneIf you ask the average person whether they know the difference between Public Relations and Media Relations, chances are they don’t. However, if you ask any communications professional they will tell you that media relations cannot be used interchangeably with public relations.

Public relations involves connecting and creating a relationship between various publics and your organization/business. This means managing communication between consumers, charities, investors, industries, as well as the media.

Media relations is a specialized part of public relations, that focuses on getting as much positive coverage for your organization/business as possible. This involves creating a working relationship with all types of media outlets: broadcast, print and online.

Creating a relationship with media outlets can be difficult. This means making journalists, you’re friends. Which everyone knows journalism and public relations don’t exactly see eye-to-eye. Journalists want a good story, while public relations professionals want good news. If you’re just starting out in media relations, calling up a local news channel or the editor of a large paper can be intimidating, but here are a few Do’s and Don’ts of Media Relations to make it a little easier.

DO: Make Connections on Social Media

Social media is more than just a fun way to connect with your friends. In today’s communication world, it’s a tool. Use it. Connect with different news outlets (from a professional account, of course, Channel 6 really doesn’t care that you made ‘totes delicious’ cookies yesterday #yum). If you have a published story about how an Ohio University Alumni made an impact in your organization, go ahead and tweet/share it with WOUB, the Athens News and The Post.

DON’T: Be Pushy.

No journalist enjoys getting 30 calls/emails a day from anyone, let alone from a media relations specialist. Do not badger them. The more you irritate them, they less likely they are to work with you in the future. Be nice to the reporter.

DON’T: Be a Pushover.

Just because you shouldn’t be pushy, doesn’t mean you should let people walk all over you. If you are trying to get media coverage of an event, don’t let them blow you off. If they can’t speak right now, ask when is a better time to call back and set up a time.

DO: Make Follow-up Calls

If you send out an email news release and don’t receive a response within a day or two, call. I can’t count the number of times I’ve made a follow up call and discovered that the release got lost in a sea of emails. Calling makes them take notice of the release and increases your chances of getting it published.

Hint: The best follow-up calls are not direct and instead offer assistance.

“Hello, this is Awesome Media Relations Expert with Significant Organization calling about the press release that I sent you on Tuesday. I was just calling to see if you had any questions regarding Extremely News Worthy/Relevant Event…”

DO: Know Whom You Are Pitching To.

Every media outlet has their own audience, and it’s your job to package your news in a way that appeals to that audience. Do you’re best to explain to them why this story is important and news worthy. The media is not going to publish a story promoting your business; that is not their job. You have to find an angle that sparks their interest.

DO: Be Friendly and Unique.

No one wants to talk to someone who is rude or boring. Being professional does not mean losing all personality! The more people like you, the more likely they will listen to you when you talk. This is what will make or break you in any communications field. Feel free to establish a good relationship with editors – it will help you, I promise.

DON’T: Be Intimidated. (Well, At Least Don’t Show It If You Are Intimidated.)

This is your job; it’s what media relations professionals do. Media outlets are not going to take you seriously if you act shy or nervous. Be confident; if you believe in your organization and show it when you talk to the media, they’ll believe in it too. And before you know it you’ll start to see coverage all over the Internet, press, television and radio!



What PR people actually do

March 6, 2014 2 Comments

KERRY WASHINGTONWe have all experienced it before at family gatherings when our relatives ask what we are going to school for, and then we see their looks of confusion as we try to explain what our majors actually are. As much as I wish I could say that after graduation we all move onto be the next Olivia Pope, or even a gladiator for that matter, it’s not always like that. It’s often perceived that the role of Public Relations is an unethical career filled with lies and covering up mistakes of the clients, but that is very far from the truth of what PR professionals do.

Public relations professionals work to obtain free publicity for their client. This can be done in any number of ways – traditionally press releases are sent to journalists containing the information needed to write a positive story about their clients. A press release is a compelling news story that makes it clear why the client’s service, product, announcement or personal history is important. It is usually very short, and the goal is to make it easier for the journalist, however it is not controlled media.

One thing I think our generation can agree on as aspiring PR professionals, is that we could not be happier that social media is becoming a huge aspect of the job for PR professionals. Social media is a great tool brands use to reach customers and it’s FREE. For example, Oreo utilized the opportunity of the power outrage in the 2013 Super Bowl, to tweet one of the most famous and memorable tweets of 2013. Social media makes free publicity one tap of the finger away from the consumer. PR professionals are their own type of genius when it comes to utilizing the social media outlets.

PR professionals are also trained to do damage control. This is where the Olivia Pope aspect does come into play. “All publicity is good publicity”, well we all can think of a time where that is not always the case. Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber’s recent actions in the public eye are just a few examples of where all publicity is not always considered good publicity. One piece of bad press can change how the consumers perceive a brand. For example, when a woman said she found a finger in her chili from Wendy’s, (even though it was a false accusation) how many of us waited a few months or even years before trying Wendy’s chili again? PR professionals will create a ‘PR Crisis Management Plan’ to respond quickly and proactively when a story breaks that could hurt their reputation. This is a way to map out how the brand will react to the crisis and what their next steps need to be.

What’s unique about working in PR is that every day is different. As rising PR stars, our majors might seem confusing or unethical to those who do not take the time to notice that PR is everywhere. Next time you see a mind-blowing creative tweet or press release issued only minutes after ground breaking event, know that there is a team of PR stars who live to make that happen.

Chelsea Amato is a junior studying Strategic Communications. You can follow her on Twitter at @Chelsea_Amato.

How to Communicate for a Complex Client

October 17, 2013 1 Comment

This summer I had an amazing opportunity to work for a company ranked within the top ten of their industry in QuestionAmerica. Their industry? Trash. I was more than a little nervous accepting the position; my knowledge of trash stopped at the curb.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to properly communicate their needs when I didn’t understand their business. Luckily, with a little guidance from supervisors and some serious personal effort, I now consider myself an expert at talking trash.

Check out the competition. The quickest way to get an early idea about an industry is to research your company’s competition. The more sources you have, the more information you have. By reading up on competition you get a more extensive idea of trends in the industry and a better understanding of what sets your company apart.

Keep up with industry news. Even the most niche industries have outlets designated to publish trends.  In terms of trash, I was regularly reading at least three different websites designated solely to discussing garbage and recycling. Not every article published by these outlets will connect to your client’s specific needs. However, understanding the ins and outs of the business as a whole can help you communicate more effectively and understand how other departments work, a necessity if you are working with internal communications. Which leads me to…

Get to know other departments. Especially when surrounded by fellow communications professionals, it is easy to lose sight of how other people understand and discuss different ideas. Mingling with people in other departments provides a new perspective that your coworkers may not be able to provide. They can also be a great resource when dealing with an especially difficult problem. Have a customer with a rare or new problem? Perhaps sales can better understand how to create a solution.

Ask questions. As an entry-level employee or an intern questions are not only expected, they are encouraged. In order to avoid feeling insecure about lack of knowledge, try asking “why?” instead of “what?” For example: “Why do we use a different social media platform than Competitor X?” This shows not only shows a commitment to learning, it also allows for an even more in-depth explanation.

Taking on communication for a client you don’t quite understand can be extremely intimidating. On the flip side, it offers an opportunity for growth and to prove yourself as a true communications professional. If you can become an expert about a niche industry, what can’t you do?

-Darby Fledderjohn is a senior studying strategic communication with specializations in business and sociology. Follow her at @dfledderjohn.

If You Ask Me: Account Advice ABC’s

September 2, 2013 4 Comments

It’s easy as 1, 2—never mind.

With three years worth of ImPRessions experience under my belt, I compiled a list of pointers I’ve gained from my time as both an account associate and account executive. My tips and hints are inspired by the impressive executives and associates I’ve worked with in the past, and the ones working beside me now.

As you begin your new role as an account executive this year, enjoy my tidbits of unsolicited advice:impressions

Acquire an agenda: When meeting with your client and account associates, prepare talking points to address beforehand. If you have an idea of what you want to accomplish from the get-go, your meetings will be more productive.

Bond with your executives: Your associates are the driving force behind the account. You will be collaborating with them, depending on them, teaching and learning from them.  Get to know your associates—they are your team.

Constant conversation will foster better communication: Scheduling weekly meetings with your client will enable you to stay up-to-date on their changing needs, and figure out how to best meet them.

Delegate tasks and assignments: You can’t take on everything yourself, nor are you expected to. Trust your associates to share the workload and help carry the account, and offer your assistance and guidance when necessary.

Evaluate your work: Conducting a self-review after initiating a new idea or plan will help you determine strengths and identify areas of improvement. Your evaluation will teach you how to be more effective in the future.

Follow-up with your clients and associates: Being prompt in your responses will build your credibility and keep the line of communication open between you, your client and executives.

Goals keep you on track: It’s easy to lose sight of what you set out to accomplish if you don’t specify it from the beginning. When you feel yourself veering off course, refer back to your mission to find out what really matters.

Have an encouraging attitude: Positivity and negativity are contagious. If you don’t have confidence or the right attitude, no one else will, especially your associates.

Improvise during downtime: Most accounts are bound to experience a lull in between projects from time to time. Hold a resume workshop, teach your associates how to write a press release or show them how to pitch a story. Turn your down time back up by finding ways to remain productive.

Jump right in: Be a self-starter. Contact your associates to schedule your first meeting of the year and reach out to your client, right now. There’s lots of work to be done!

Keep track of your progress: Comparing where you started to where you are now is the best way to measure improvement. Decide if you’re honing in on your goals. If not, come up with a different strategy.

Lead by example: Don’t just talk the talk—walk the walk. Follow through on promises and execute your plans. Others are more likely to take you seriously if you can prove you are dependable and reliable.

Make enough time for the account: Set aside time each week to plan out meetings, answer emails and prepare for upcoming events. Creating a monthly calendar that outlines tasks and assignments will help you stay organized.

Never forget to say thank you: When you offer a genuine, thought-out thank you, you’re acknowledging your associates’ and clients’ effort, appreciating their thoughtfulness and recognizing their intent. Saying thank you feels good, not just to the receiver but also to the sender.

Open yourself up to new ideas and opinions: Some of the best solutions stem from collaboration. Allow others to build off your ideas and pull from their own experiences to help formulate a plan.

Positive feedback can boost morale: Feeling genuinely appreciated lifts people up and energizes them. Showing your associates that their work truly matters and that they’re contributing unique value to the whole will drive engagement and motivate them even further.

Quantify your results: Your client is interested in the value of your PR work and exactly how much of an impact your account has made. Numbers serve as one of the best, most concrete ways of showcasing your results. Dust the dirt off your calculator, and start adding it all up!

Rely on your associates: Just like you, your associates joined ImPRessions to gain practical experience, learn and grow. Let them take the reigns as the account pursues different projects, and give them the opportunity to solve problems on their own. They’ll thank you later.

Serve as a role model: Often, your associates will be underclassmen, new on campus and in the public relations field. Your experiences, insight and knowledge of campus are valuable—share them. A little piece of advice can go a long way.

Take it one step further: Treat every meeting, interview and event as you would at an internship. This will not only give you great practice, but it will yield the best results for your account.

Utilize your resources: Remember that you’re surrounded by PR-stars! Play off of the knowledge, experience, skills and expertise of your peers to help formulate new ideas and overcome account obstacles.

Versatility is key: Your associates and clients are bound to run on different, sometimes even conflicting, schedules. If you’re persistent, understanding and accommodating, you’ll find a way to connect the dots.

Work hard: Give this experience your all. Your client and associates will depend on you to set the precedence and lead the way.

Xerox copies of your agenda: Supply your associates with a weekly agenda so they can follow along during meetings and refer back to it later on.

You’re going to make mistakes: Admit your missteps and mishaps, address them promptly, learn from them and move on.

Zen: find yours: Managing an account can be challenging, stressful, time-consuming and frustrating. By the end of the year, you’ll have gained skills and a learning experience that will undoubtedly help you succeed in the future.

So, breathe—you’re already one step closer to becoming a PRofessional.

-Katie Grady is a senior studying strategic communications with specializations in business and political science. Follow her adventures in NYC at @kaitgrady.

Taking a Peek Into Agency Life at Edelman

August 13, 2013

Edelman_Logo_ColorAgency life keeps you on your toes; it’s fast paced, mentally demanding yet very exciting. Professionals working at an agency have different day-to-day agendas and are constantly challenged to be creative and curious thinkers.

During my time as an Edelman Trainee, I got a taste of what agency life is really like and what traits are essential for success.

Here are four characteristics of a successful PR pro at Edelman:

Creative- clients are always looking for the next big thing. Agency staff must be creative to drive interactive content and impression numbers with innovative strategies.

Enthusiastic- in order for the client to be enthusiastic, so must its PR team.

Team player- agencies are all about team spirit and encouragement. A PR pro must engage with the team to conquer daily obstacles and reach set goals.

Strong work ethic- agency staff work long hours. Most get to the office early and leave late in order to complete all assignments. With this, attitude means everything. A strong work ethic paired with a positive attitude will get any PR pro far.

Here are four perpetual aspects of agency life:

Client service- is the center focus for each project. Agencies strive for client satisfaction, and every effort has the client’s wants and needs at the focal point.

Large teams- depending on the client, teams can be rather large. It takes a small army to reach deliverable results. At Edelman, I met Account Associates, Assistant Account Executives, Senior Account Executives, Vice Presidents, General Managers and many interns.

Busy- everyday is busy at an agency. As PR pros, we are focused on creating the buzz for a product or cause. Agencies carry out multiple projects at one time.

Collaborative- two heads are better than one, and agencies truly hone that statement. Edelman pulls talent from the creative team, digital team and account teams to work together to tackle a particular task as a team….and their results show it!

Working on nation-wide campaigns and with brands such as Pop-Tarts, Pringles and Rice Krispies, I was exposed to a variety of PR tactics. I gained experience in media relations, digital analytics and consumer PR. While all this was cool, what I enjoyed most at Edelman was meeting Senior Account Executives to account Vice Presidents, and realizing what agency life actually entailed.

“PR is more than a set of tactics and tools. It’s a mindset.” –Richard Edelman

-Marisa Dockum is a junior communications studies major with a global leadership certificate. Follow her at @MarisaDockum

A Day in the Life: PR Professional

June 24, 2013

This is the first of a three-part series detailing the daily life of a public relations professional, intern and student.

DevinName: Devin Hughes

Company: Global Prairie

Location: Cleveland, OH

Hourly Snapshot

7:30 AM – Wake up, shower, and check Facebook/Twitter/News RSS Feed while eating a granola bar for breakfast. This includes both personal interest stuff (friends’ Facebook posts, sports scores) as well as work stuff (industry news/tweets)

8:30 AM – Arrive at work. Whole bunch of emails to sift through. Better make the first cup of coffee (in our Keurig!)

9:00 AM – A new team member has joined our office! We have a welcome breakfast to meet him and chat.

9:45 AM – Every week, we send a weekly media monitoring report to the client on Friday morning. I haven’t started on it yet. Guess I should get moving on that.

10:00 AM – Better make that second cup of coffee.

10:30 AM – Call with a major national organization about a partnership our client has with them. What can we do to enhance the partnership? How can we promote it?

11:00 AM – Call went well. Now, I have to take everything we discussed and build a formal strategic recommendation for our client to review. Better get started on that while it’s fresh on my mind.

11:30 AM – Or not. Now I have a different call, for the same client, for a totally different project. This time, we’re even working with another agency (that does event planning) to discuss how to coordinate our efforts.

12:00 PM – No time to debrief from that call. Now, we have an all-agency call; all of our regional offices and employees dial in for this one, where we go over agency-wide matters of importance.

12:30 PM – Another meeting on the calendar? This is the 5th one and I haven’t had lunch! Now, we’re brainstorming about how to improve a mobile app for our client. Some awesome new ideas bouncing around — ranging from major changes, to simple functionality tweaks.

1:00 PM – All right, a break! Grabbed a few coworkers and ran to the local market for a salad.

1:30 PM – Let’s dig back in and work on that media repo—oh never mind. Boss needs me to do quick research for a new business opportunity that just came up.

2:00 PM – Finished that up, and just got some feedback on a social media proposal I put together. Sweet! Really excited about this project. Let’s prioritize it. Incorporated those edits and sent back through to the team.

2:30 PM – Grab a Pepsi and work on that report I keep putting off, but not for long because…

3:00 PM – A brainstorm meeting! About Twitter! We’re creating an account for a client and are discussing the look and feel of the account. Graphic design team is on this call, always fun to work with them.

3:30 PM – Another call, this time about work one of our clients does with NASCAR. That’s pretty cool.

4:00 PM – Let’s wrap up that report, already. The document has literally been open on my computer all day.

4:30 PM – Call with a senior strategist at our firm to run through a PPT I put together. He really likes the plan! Sending to the client now

5:00 PM – Oh hello, mountain of emails I haven’t had a chance to reply to. Let’s catch up on those

5:30 PM – A few of us are actually going to a fundraising event for the National Kidney Foundation tonight. Pretty cool to do after-hours stuff with coworkers while also giving back.

8:00 PM – Home! Long day…let’s sit back and watch the Indians game (while tweeting of course)

11:00 PM – Bedtime. Can’t stay up late like I did in my OU days.

What is an example of a curve ball you may face during the day as a PR professional?
You can plan out your day all you want, but PR is driven by the news of the day, so be ready to get disrupted. For example, when I did PR for a grocery chain, anytime the news wanted to spontaneously come film at the store I’d have to drive out and meet them. One phone call from ABC was all it’d take to literally change the entire complexion of my day.

Do you find that you specialize in a certain area of PR or are your responsibilities more general?
Can I say “both?” I got into the agency world because I wanted to wear a lot of different hats and learn about any aspect of PR that I could. That said, I naturally gravitate toward social media and really enjoy doing that type of work, and my company has noticed that, so they’ve begun viewing me as more of a go-to person on social media matters. But, that doesn’t mean I’m not still doing all the other stuff! Best advice I can give is to be open to learning anything and everything, but also become conscious of what you really enjoy doing, and have dialogues with your manager about what those things are.

How many clients do you work with and what is it like transitioning between the different clients throughout the day?
It’s hard to quantify. There aren’t just different clients, but there’s different businesses within clients. So like, maybe your “client” is Toyota but you do some work for the marketing manager of the Toyota Camry; some for the Tundra marketing person; some corporate communications work; some general crisis consulting. It’s one “client,” but they have multiple billing codes and you report to different people.I actually really like transitioning between a bunch of different clients/types of work. Maybe I’m scatterbrained, but it helps keep me feeling fresh and energized. I think I’d go insane doing the same thing every day. The biggest challenge is juggling various client deadlines. I can’t tell one client that her work is less important to me than another client’s work. Luckily, our agency team is extremely supportive and when time crunches like this come up, anyone who can will jump in and help out.

What experiences from your days as a PR student and intern have helped you in your work as a professional?
I’ve said before that in a lot of ways, school is like its own PR agency. Your “clients” are your 5 classes, your 3 student organizations, your PACE job, etc. And you need to manage your time on all of these clients, prioritize assignments and get things done, while still having a social life. The running joke is that Scripps Kids tend to overextend themselves and sign up for everything; however, this actually prepares you really well for the demands of agency PR, if that’s a field you’re interested in.

-Kerry Tuttle is a junior majoring in public relations with specializations in marketing and international business. Keep up with Kerry at @kerrtut.


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